Hate him or love him, Dillon Brooks absolutely balled out for Canada at the FIBA World Cup and was a big reason they came away with a bronze medal.
Canada beat out USA for the bronze in a wild 127-118 overtime win and Brooks scored a record 39 points to go with four rebounds, five assists on 12-18 shooting from the field and 7-8 from beyond the arc.
The Rockets wing surpassed Carl Ridd’s record from 1954 for the most points in a single game by a Canadian at the World Cup.
39 points is certainly no small feat, since Germany’s Dirk Nowitzki is the only player in the last 18 years to score more points (47) in a single World Cup game today than Dillon Brooks (39), according to StatMuse.
The man was unquestionably on fire on both sides of the court as he also won Best Defensive Player of the World Cup.
He totalled 16 defensive rebounds and ten steals through the eight games Canada played.
Brooks is known as the villain of the NBA thanks to his antics last season, so he has copped plenty of hate since then.
He actually went out of his way to thank his haters after the bronze game and explained how he has used the criticism as motivation to succeed.
“I appreciate you, from the beginning,” Brooks told Esfandiar Baraheni. “Everyone that was throwing shots on Twitter and Instagram, watching me play. But it just helps me get better each and every day. Motivates me to get better.”
The 27-year-old is well aware of the image he’s created on the basketball court and compared it to how the late Kobe Bryant had his own identity on the court as well.
“It is a persona, people love it,” Brooks said, via Baraheni. “It’s a lot like Kobe, RIP to Kobe, but he had to create the Black Mamba, so I guess that’s my persona, the villain…But I’m a loving, caring guy who loves my kids, loves my family, my teammates.”
His behavior on Memphis during the playoffs was a big reason he was traded in the offseason but maybe he’s turned a new leaf?
Houston may well be capitalising at just the right time.
His revenge game v the Grizzlies will be on November 22 at Toyota Center – unmissable basketball.