At one point during the lockout-shortened season, MarShon Brooks was feeling like most rookies do during their inaugural campaign.
His body wasn't used to that daily grind and it took a bit of a physical toll on the Nets shooting guard. So Brooks really hit the weight room with a sense of purpose these last few months, all in preparation for his second season. He said he's gained about six or seven pounds and knows he essentially has to lock himself in the weight room if he plans on being successful at this NBA thing.
"I was 198 pounds soaking wet last year, so it was kind of tough at times," Brooks told Newsday Thursday in a conversation from Moscow, where he's participating in the NBA's "Basketball Without Borders" program. "If I want to have a career in this league, I’ve got to make the weight room my best friend."
Talk of adding bulk to his slender 6-5 frame is an annual ritual for those around Brooks. However, this time around, he truly made it a priority because he knows he can't continue to get pushed around physically by bigger, stronger players.
"I’ve always been a little guy," Brooks said. "I’ve always been small and every summer it's always been, 'Let's put on some weight.‘ This summer it was like, 'Ok, we’ve got to put on some weight.' There's more to it, because you now you are trying to get stronger every day."
"I feel like that is going to help me in the long run. I got off to a good start last year, then the legs gave out and things got tough on me. So now that I’ve put on a couple more pounds, that's going to help me in different aspects of the game -- spot shooting, defense, rebounding, finishing at the rim, getting to the free throw line. That’s where the work pays off at."
Brooks won't have a whole lot of time to hit the weights in Russia, though. He's participating in clinic to put smiles on the faces of Special Olympics children and will be part of a camp that offers instruction to 50 of the top young European players. There's also an NBA clinic at a local school on tap.
Brooks' agent, Seth Cohen, was the one who urged him to go.
"It was an opportunity to help the community," Brooks said. "I just wanted to help look out for the Brooklyn Nets and represent them well."