Exclusive: Grizzlies’ Brooks grateful for second NBA chance

Grizzlies guard MarShon Brooks was a first-round pick of the Nets back in 2011.

INDIANAPOLIS — MarShon Brooks came into the NBA in 2011, a scoring machine out of Providence. He was a first-round pick of the New Jersey Nets, a team desperate for scoring.

Brooks averaged 12.6 points per game his rookie season, surpassing many of his fellow draftees who were picked much higher.

He played one more season with the Nets in Brooklyn, before being traded three times in one year (Brooklyn to Boston, Boston to Golden State, Golden State to Los Angeles);. After the 2013-14 season, when he was dealt like a hand of cards, he played overseas and didn’t appear in an NBA game for more than three years.

Now, Brooks is back in the NBA after signing with Memphis Grizzlies in the middle of last season. He comes into a league that is a little different from what he knew as a youngster.

“It’s fun, man. It’s a different game, obviously,” Brooks told Amico Hoops prior to the Grizzlies’ loss to the Indiana Pacers. “Since I left the NBA, the NBA’s changed a lot.”

A lot of players who end up like Brooks don’t get a chance to relive their dream. The league can eat them up and spit them out. He is thankful for the opportunity to be back.

“There’s nothing like being in the NBA,” Brooks told Amico Hoops. “It’s the best league in the world. I’m just happy to be back playing in front of my friends and family.”

The last time he played in the NBA he was basically a kid. Now, he has kids.

“I’m 29, now, I was 24, 25 at the time,” he said. “So, with kids now, it’s a lot different situation. I’m playing for somebody else, living for somebody else, so it’s a great feeling.”

Brooks is from Stone Mountain, Ga., so he is familiar with the South, and has loved his time living in Memphis.

“Memphis is good, man, I love it,” he said.

Each year, a lot of NBA players end up retiring, going overseas, or not getting another opportunity. Brooks, on the other hand, is back and clearly thankful he is getting a second opportunity to live out his dream.