An Ode to MarShon Brooks, the Unlikely Hero of the Botched MarShon Brooks Trade

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 10:  Marshon Brooks #8 of the Memphis Grizzlies plays the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on December 10, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
MarShon Brooks seems like a really cool dude. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Don’t you just hate it when someone gets your name wrong? Being the subject of such a mistake is annoying enough, but then you—the victim!—are put in the uncomfortable position of issuing a correction. Haven’t you suffered enough? You could always let the matter slide, but then you run the risk of being called “Tina” by this particular acquaintance for the rest of your life even though you’re the most un-Tina person in the world. It’s a crappy situation. Just ask MarShon Brooks, who thought he was going to have to move to Phoenix because someone got his name wrong.

Brooks is a guard for the Memphis Grizzles and, on Friday night, he was a part of a multi-team trade that collapsed spectacularly. It’s complicated even without the case of mistaken identity, but I will try my best to provide a simple recap. The Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Wizards, and Phoenix Suns agreed to the following terms:

The Grizzlies would get Washington forward Kelly Oubre Jr.

The Wizards would get Phoenix swingman Trevor Ariza and two second-round draft picks from Memphis.

The Suns would get Washington guard Austin Rivers as well as Memphis reserve Wayne Selden and a player with the last name of Brooks.

Phoenix thought it was getting Dillon Brooks, a 22-year-old player with a lot of potential. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, believed they were trading away MarShon Brooks, Dillon’s 29-year-old teammate who had been playing in China last season. Communication, people!

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, “officials with all three teams informed agents and players that an agreement had been reached and the players were traded.” The deal was called off when the general managers realized they had different Brookses in mind, but the conflicting details had already been leaked to the press.

It was a pretty uncomfortable situation, especially for the guys who thought they were about to be put on the next flight to Arizona. One would expect MarShon Brooks to be particularly upset, as the botched transaction revolved entirely around his expendability and perceived worth. It was embarrassing and unfair to him, but Brooks took it all in stride. “I’m not frustrated,” he told reporters on Saturday. “It is what it is. … I don’t have time to feel bad.”

There are two notable takeaways from this whole mess:

1. NBA general managers are capable of messing up the most basic aspects of their jobs, and

2. MarShon Brooks seems like a really cool dude.

Phoenix and Washington finalized a trade without the Grizzlies’ involvement on Saturday. Brooks remains in Memphis for now. Both of them.