Dillon Brooks Thinks He’s The Best Defender In The World

Rockets forward Dillon Brooks certainly doesn’t lack confidence. Following Canada’s quarterfinal victory over Slovenia at the 2023 World Cup, the veteran wing was asked if he was the best defender at the tournament.

Yeah. This tournament, this world, in the NBA,” Brooks said, per Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. “I feel like I bring a different type of defense with my IQ and how physical I play and how disciplined I am on the floor.”

Brooks earned a spot on the All-Defensive Second Team this past season, his first appearance on an All-League team. As Fischer writes, new head coach Ime Udoka singled out the former Oregon product as a key target for Houston in free agency this summer due to his defensive tenacity.

He (Udoka) knows that I bring a different type of edge to the game,” Brooks told Yahoo Sports. “I have my ups and downs with it. But I can teach young guys. Houston was a great offensive team. They just needed more on the defensive end, stressing priority on the defensive end.”

Describing the Rockets as a “great offensive team” in 2022/23 isn’t exactly accurate — they ranked 27th in the league, only faring better than the Pistons, Spurs and Hornets. However, Brooks is right that Houston needs help on both ends — the team was even worse on defense, finishing 29th in ’22/23 after being dead last two seasons ago.

Long known for being an irritant and a tone-setter for Memphis, the 27-year-old received a lucrative four-year, $86MM+ deal from the Rockets via a complex sign-and-trade. Brooks tells Fischer he’s ready for a leadership role with Houston.

Just having a positive mindset, knowing that it’s gonna be a transition day by day,” Brooks said. “Getting better day by day and finding ways to believe in the details and believe in the little things that get you to where you need to get to, whether it’s playoffs, whether it’s winning the in-season tournament, each game getting better and better.”

In case you missed it, Canada faces Serbia in the first World Cup semifinal early Friday morning. You can vote in our poll for both semifinal match-ups right here.

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