Brooks endured a somewhat ugly departure from Memphis following the Grizzlies’ first-round playoff exit against the Lakers last season, and even admitted last week that he felt like he was made the scapegoat for the team’s shortcomings.
The 27-year-old has quickly settled in his new surroundings in Houston, having inked a four-year, $86 million deal.
Ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Grizzlies, Brooks told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that he thinks he’s missed in Memphis.
“It’s like the girlfriend that you used to have,” Brooks said. “You don’t know how good she is until she’s gone.”
Heading into Wednesday’s tilt, Memphis owns a 3-10 record, sitting just one half game out of last place in the Western Conference. As for Houston, the Rockets are off to a solid start at 6-6, and Brooks has played a big role in the team’s improved play.
Brooks is averaging 13.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals while playing quality and high-intensity defense across 31.8 minutes per night.
He feels the Grizzlies have lost some of their identity following his departure for the Rockets.
“You can see now they have no swagger,” said Brooks of his former team. “We have swagger. We have an identity we’re building. Each and every game, we show it more and more.”
Wednesday marks the first of three games that will be played between the Grizzlies and Rockets this season. The two sides will meet again on Dec. 13 and Dec. 15.