Josh Newman, SNYNets.comEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J — After meeting with the media on Monday, the Brooklyn Nets opened training camp on Tuesday morning. For MarShon Brooks, today marked an important day in his quest to become one of the NBA's top reserve players. But more importantly, the opening of training camp represented the 6-foot-5 sixth man's chance to finally get back to basketball-related activities... Still, as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
After a very encouraging rookie campaign in the franchise's final season in New Jersey, Brooks was the subject of rampant trade speculation this offseason, mainly due to the Nets' pursuit of Dwight Howard.
Although Brooks was not the main piece of the trade puzzle, he was shopped around in an attempt to get a potential multi-team, multi-player deal done.
A deal that would have brought Howard to Brooklyn fell through, so general manager Billy King re-signed incumbent big man Brook Lopez to be his franchise center. And now, Brooks—still a member of the team—finds himself as the sixth man on a team with high expectations.
"I'm very happy to be a part of this team, I'm happy to be a part of Brooklyn, I wouldn't have it any other way," Brooks said. "I'm a part of the team still. I was one of only guys to be under contract once they made the trades so I'm just happy to be a part of this. I think it's going to be something special."
Evidently, Brooks spent a lot of his time during the offseason in the weight room. After a rookie season that saw him get physically outplayed by older and stronger veteran guards, he has noticeably added some muscle to what is now a 200-pound frame. Despite last season's physical shortcomings, Brooks had a strong rookie season, averaging 12.6 points and 3.6 rebounds over 56 games.
"I just want to try and create late in the game when they give me the ball with the second unit," Brooks said. "Early on, it's about showing (head) coach (Avery Johnson) I can make the right play every time. He knows I can score, it's about my decision making when he gives me the ball and pick-and-roll situations and things like that. You just have to make the right decisions."
Brooks, now entering his sophomore season, will be asked to be the team's primary scorer off the bench. He'll have to do some heavy lifting for the Brooklyn Nets, so he'll certainly have an opportunity to use his new-found muscles.