“Good morning and welcome, everybody. I hope you’ll join me in also welcoming the newest member of the Sacramento Kings, Aaron Brooks, who came in yesterday and signed his contract, and passed his physical, and we’re really excited to have him join the team. He brings great quickness and speed, and the ability to score the ball in a variety of ways. He’s had some very productive years in Houston and is returning to the NBA after a five-month sojourn to China during the lockout. We had a really enjoyable dinner last night with his wife, Shavonne, and his daughter, Mikah, down at one of our local restaurants. I think you’ll find him to be a very enjoyable and straight-forward young man. It’s a really great day for the Kings, and we’re excited to have Aaron here.”
What is it about Aaron’s game that has put him on your wish list for so long?
“Going back to his Draft, we were really interested in Aaron, and he had worked out here. We actually thought we were acquiring a pick earlier than where he was picked in order to take him. It didn’t work out then, but it’s worked out now. I think his overall ability to score the ball, to be an attacker – he can play point, he can play off the ball as well – and he’s a long-range threat out there. Again, he’ll bring us an additional dimension in terms of being matched with some of our other players, and he certainly can play the up-tempo type of game (Kings Head Coach) Keith (Smart) wants to play, so I’m really looking forward to getting the whole group on the floor here in another couple months, and we’ll go from there.”
“Thank you, those are some nice words. I just want to say, I’m happy to be here. It’s been a while since I’ve played in the NBA and I’m just eager to get back to it. The Kings are a great organization. The team is very talented. As I was making my decision, I was looking for a team that liked to play the way I like to play – and that’s get up and down – that had a good big man and great guards, a team that’s just up and coming. So I’m glad to be here, I’m happy to be a part of the team, and hopefully we’ll get it all together and figure it all out and make a Playoff run. I’d like to say, I’m happy to be here. I’m ready to work. Everybody seems eager to get to Playoffs, so this is a wonderful opportunity, and I appreciate them for signing me.”
What does Kings Head Coach Keith Smart say about your addition to the team?
“It just adds to the depth of the Kings. There are a lot of guards, post players – we have pretty much all the ingredients to be a good team – but just putting it all together, being able to come at teams in waves and play everybody, everybody gets consistent minutes. He has his work cut out for us, putting everything together, but I like the team, at least on paper, so if we get it together, we can be a great team.”
Have you talked to DeMarcus Cousins?
“No, I haven’t talked to anybody yet. I talked to Isaiah (Thomas), another Seattle guy. He’s ready to work. There’s going to be a lot of competition at practice, and I think that just makes for a good team. In Houston we had a lot of battles and it made us a better team. We went to the Playoffs and had a good run. It’s going to be the same thing here. We’re going to be working, and hopefully do a lot better.
Is it your mindset to come in as the starting point guard?
“Isaiah had a great year. Tyreke (Evans is) a great player, so it’s competition, it’s becoming a better player. You’re going to get to practice, and you’re going to work. You get out to the games, and if you do what you’re supposed to do, you’ll play. That’s the way I look at it. I’m just going to do whatever I can to play the best I can play and help this team to win.”
What was it like for you to watch the NBA from afar last season as you played in China?
“It was difficult to watch the NBA season go on when you’re not a part of it, but it made me appreciate the game a lot more. I didn’t have a bad experience over there. My teammates over there were cool. I still communicate with some of them. Most of them are playing in London right now, but it was a good experience. Traveling was a little bit difficult. I’m looking forward to the chartered flights again! I had a good time, it was a good experience, but I’m glad to be home.”
Are you going to be able to make it to the training session Isaiah is scheduling for the team in the coming weeks?
“Definitely, he texted me, and that was the first thing he said, ‘Congratulations, welcome to the team,’ and then he said that we’re having a mini camp. Being a free agent, you don’t do too much five-on-five stuff, so I’m looking forward to getting back to playing five-on-five and getting up and down with the guys.”
When you became a free agent on July 1, how many calls from interested teams did you get?
“I don’t receive calls! My agent receives the calls, and I (tell) him, ‘Unless they’re serious calls, don’t call me.’ We received a couple offers. I felt like this was the best place to be. Plus, you want to be somewhere where they want you, and I felt that Sacramento has always showed interest. When I was being drafted, and during trade deadlines, there were always talks that Sacramento might be the place. You always want to be somewhere where someone wants you and you feel like you’re needed, so it was an easy decision.”
What areas of your game benefited from your time in China?
“I worked on passing a little bit more. We had about five National Team players, and you have to cater to (them) a little bit, and make sure they get the ball in the right places. It made me a better all-around player. Those guys are pretty good, and coming here and playing with other good guys makes it a lot easier.”
Even though you played last year, do you think you need to get into NBA shape?
“I’ve been running on the track and doing a little hot yoga and stuff, so I think I’m in shape. It’s been a while – about a year and a half almost since I’ve played in the NBA – but it’s like riding a bike, once you get your feet wet you’ll be alright.”
What was the driving force for you to choose to play in China versus waiting for the lockout to end?
“I was coming off of injury, and I just wanted to test my ankle. I didn’t want to sit out a whole year not doing anything. I also wanted to show the NBA I was healthy again. I didn’t want to sit out a whole year.”
How is your ankle now?
“I’m completely fine.”