Newest Thunderer Ronnie Brewer was formally introduced Sunday night prior to Oklahoma City’s game against the Bulls.
His focus: Defense, defense and, yeah, you get it.
“I think my versatility and my athleticism, where I can guard, if Russell is playing defense and gets hung up on a pick-and-roll, I can step over and guard a 1,” Brewer said. “Or guard an athletic 2. Or maybe a bigger 3-guard. Maybe someone gets in foul trouble and they need to switch up or take a break or a few possessions off, I’m able to guard a 3. Sometimes if they’re not too tall, sometimes a 4. I think my energy level allows me to match somebody’s offensive intensity.”
The media meet-and-greet was in a hallway that’s typically only occupied by a handful of reporters when Scott Brooks addresses reporters pregame. But with one of Brewer’s former team’s in town — which of course brought the press that cover them — you would’ve thought the Thunder just acquired Carmelo Anthony, not Ronnie Brewer.
There is a certain level of anticipation in OKC’s newest acquisition though. He’s not a star, nor a guy that rally commands much attention, but he is a player that is absolutely seen as someone that can help.
“Whenever I get in, I don’t want there to be a drop in energy or in a lack of production. I’m just going to go out there and play as hard as I can on both ends of the floor and hopefully make positive things happen out there.”
Brewer isn’t available to play against his old team, but will be activated and in uniform for OKC’s game Wednesday against the Hornets.
What is the Thunder getting though? Here’s how his former coach Tom Thibodeau put it: “A smart, tough player. Great teammate. He’ll do whatever you ask him to do.”
Brewer is known as an elite perimeter defender, and someone that has a history of guarding LeBron from his time with the Bulls. Nobody stops LeBron, but Brewer is at least another body to throw his way should the Thunder be so fortunate to see him again.
“Hopefully I can do a great job,” Brewer said of defending LeBron. “But there’s so many other teams you’ve got to play against night in and night out. So you gotta treat every person you come across as the best and premier player in this league. So I’m going to approach whoever is in front of me as the best player in this league. The same intensity I’m going to give to LeBron, I’m going to give it to Luol Deng or Rip Hamilton or whoever our next opponent is.”
Brewer comes to the Thunder having played under some top notch coaches like Jerry Sloan and Thibodeau. He said that experience taught him to pay attention to detail and helped him learn the game at a high level from smart people.
“You have to be very precise and in detail,” Brewer said of playing for those coaches. “If it’s you being a shoe-step or a sidestep away from the nail, or not being able to ice a guy down, it’s all about paying attention to detail.”
Also: You’re going to ask, so here’s the deal with Brewer’s shot: He suffered a childhood water slide injury that hurt his arm badly and caused him to develop a funky shooting motion.
Brewer played at Arkansas and was highly recruited out of high school, coming close to signing at both Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. And he said being back in the area is just going to inspire him.
“To me, it’s just going to make me play with more of sense of pride, more sense of urgency. I’m way closer to home and I don’t want to let anybody down on this team, or my fans back home either.”