Jon Brockman Talks NBA with Montlake Madness

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Jon in training camp copy
I had a chance to catch up with #40 this week. Husky legend Jon Brockman is currently plying his trade as a rookie with the Sacramento Kings, and was kind enough to answer some questions from Montlake Madness. /

The Kings start their regular season on November 2. Here’s some nice words Jon’s coach Paul Westphal had to say about him recently. Before we start, here’s a recap of Jon’s six games (all preseason contests) as a pro so far:

Brockman preseason stats copy
Brockman preseason stats copy /

You can also follow Jon on Twitter if you want to get up-to-the-minute updates on the former Husky star.

Montlake Madness: Give me your initial impressions of the League. What’s been the toughest part of the NBA adjustment?

Jon Brockman: The largest adjustment thus far has been the difference in roles for me as a player. While at Washington, I was a rebounder, but also a scorer, team leader, captain, etc. In a way I feel like a freshman again and, while my main focus is still rebounding, a lot of what I do is give our other players better opportunities to score.

MM: What’s been the most unexpected part of life so far as an NBA ballplayer?

JB: The most unexpected part of being an NBA player would have to be the free time. We work hard and work for a long time while in the gym but when you don’t have class and tutoring and all the other extra things that come along with college sports you have a lot of time to yourself.

MM: How are you spending all of that additional free time?

JB: All my free time right now is spent just relaxing. I have been getting all settled in to the house I am renting. So I am either doing that or hanging out with Spencer (Hawes) watching movies or playing video games. Just normal stuff I would be doing if I was in Snohomish.

MM: What’s the biggest difference as far as the perks and lifestyle between big-time college basketball and the NBA?

JB: The perks would have to be the nice dinners that the vets take you out to, and just the overall way you are treated. Top of the line hotels. Always flying on private planes with huge first class seats that you can stretch out fully in. It is for sure a better way to fly!

MM: What are your expectations this season as far as playing time? What do you need to do to earn time on the court?

JB: For me to get time on the court, I need to work as hard as I possibly can whenever I am in the game. The NBA is a game of specialists. There are scorers, passers, defenders, and I need to focus on what I do well in rebounding and just do whatever the team needs me to do to get better. Be that garbage man!

MM: What’s the number-one piece of advice you’d give to a kid that wants to rebound as well as you do? Is there a secret to getting an advantage on the boards?

JB: The number-one tip I would give any basketball player about rebounding is simple as it comes. Effort is everything. Having a desire to get every single rebound, and a mindset that every rebound is yours, is all you need to know to be a rebounder. Yes, you have to be smart and get a read on the ball, but the majority of what I do is simply based on going to the boards every single time the shot goes up.

MM: Describe the feeling of stepping onto the court with a guy like Kobe Bryant, or guarding Ron Artest. Are you in awe at all, or is it all the same to you?

JB: Well, I was actually never on the court with Kobe, but I did get to guard Ron Artest for a little while, and it was an eye opening experience, that’s for sure. The first play I was in, I actually turned my head on Ron — something a rebounder should never do — and he knocked me on my butt. That was the hit I needed to wake up. After that, I remembered it was just basketball and as long as I work hard things will be fine.

MM: As expected, you’ve rebounded very well so far, but I’ve seen a lot of fouls in the boxscore too. What do you need to do to avoid those while still being the aggressive player you need to be out there?

JB: (Laughs) Yeah, I have been averaging a good number of fouls. Really, I am fine with that. I just need to make sure I get my money’s worth on each foul. I get six of them now, so for me it’s like a dream come true. But I do know when I start learning a few more tricks of the trade I will be able to get away with more without the refs noticing me!

MM: Has it taken any getting used to going from Seattle-area celebrity and All-America candidate to being a rookie having to start from scratch to earn respect in the League?

JB: It hasn’t been too bad. In fact, I am really enjoying “starting from scratch” and just being a little rookie. Sacramento is a great city and with the Kings being the only team in town, there’s a lot of attention focused on us. As long as I work as hard as I did with my time at UW, only good things will happen.

MM: What’s your scouting report on this year’s Huskies? If you’re Coach Romar, what’s your rotatoin, and how do you compensate for the loss of Jon Brockman?

JB: That is a tough question. I know that if all the guys work hard and take the approach we had last year where they work together as a team, good things will happen. They need to realize personal stats don’t mean anything. What matters is wins, and they will get much more attention nationally if they win rather than if one person is putting up great numbers and they are losing. Obviously they have very talented guards which will be the focus, but I believe a lot of people are sleeping on the talent they have down low as well. Interested to see what the young boys can bring to the table. They have all the potential in the world and just need to come together as a group, not get cocky, and good things will happen.

MM: Based on what you know of the team, who’s the player you think might surprise some people this year — your sleeper pick on the Huskies?

JB: My sleeper pick for the Huskies will have to be Tyreese (Breshers). He is a beast down low and when he gets healthy will be a huge part of the Dawgs success this season.

Thanks to Jon for joining us, and thanks to you all for coming!