From being the Most Valuable Villain to Most Valuable Player — Dillon Brooks lived long enough to see himself as a hero.
Brooks turned the world upside down again as he lifted Canada on his back en route to a bronze medal finish at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup this Sunday.
In a 127-118 overtime thriller triumph over the United States, Brooks feasted when it mattered the most for the Road Warriors upon dropping a game-high 39 points to go with five boards and four assists. This marvelous performance prompted the Mall of Asia Arena crowd to serenade him with roaring “M-V-P!” chants.
“It was my second time,” Brooks said about the crowd’s “M-V-P” chants. “They just did the same thing in Jakarta [at the Group Phase]. It’s just an amazing feeling to be recognized during the game.
“But I’ll never take it for granted. The work doesn’t stop here. It keeps going. I’m not satisfied, neither anyone of us in this team”.
Brooks also buried seven huge triples out of eight total attempts.
His 39-point outing is the most for a medal player in a medal-winning game in the FIBA World Cup history, surpassing the 69-year-old record set by Carl Ridd, who dropped 37 points against the Philippines at the 1954 World Championships in Rio de Janeiro.
For the 27-year-old fiery forward, it was one hell of a run with the entire North rallying at their backs to finish the World Cup on a successful note. As such, he can’t ask for a much better plot twist to wipe away his embattled campaign last 2022-23 season with the Memphis Grizzlies.
“It was so enjoyable,” said Brooks, who inked a four-year, $86MM contract with the Houston Rockets earlier this NBA offseason. “Obviously the work doesn’t stop. It keeps going, But just having my country behind me, head coach [Jordi Fernandez] behind me, general manager, all these guys behind me, in trying having to succeed. Nothing but the politics, nothing with anything to do anything with contracts or any of these things. It’s hard to battle against the world and a team.”
“It’s just a great feeling to win bronze, create history throughout this country.”