It’s often been said that the stress and tension of running an NBA team is enough to make a coach pull his hair out. Wizards coach Scott Brooks does want to lose all of his hair, but for a good reason.
Brooks and the Wizards want to raise at least $25,000 with the “Brooks Looks Charity Challenge,” which benefits the Monumental Sports and Entertainment Foundation’s Feeding the Frontlines charity.
If Brooks and the Wizards meet their goal, then Brooks has agreed to let his 19-year-old daughter, Lexi, use an electric razor and shave his head.
She is eager to start cutting.
“She’s been harassing me the last couple of weeks and saying, ‘Hey dad, your hair is out of line [and] out of control,’” Brooks said. “‘I’m going to buzz it and it’s going to happen in the middle of the night so you better sleep with one eye open.’”
The desire for a haircut is strong for so many right now, but the creation of this challenge is born out of a desire to help others.
At the Feeding the Frontlines initiative, a donation of $100 will fund between 10-12 fresh, healthy meals for first responders and healthcare staff — and get Brooks closer to be being bald.
To help spread the word, fans are encouraged to use #BrooksLooksChallenge on social media when making their donations and Wizards sponsor Fresh Vine Wines will donate 15% of sales through the month of May to Feeding the Frontlines with the use of the code DCFAMILY.
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In a video to promote the “Brooks Looks Challenge,” Lexi triggered a smile from her dad when she clicked on an electric razor.
Clicking the razor seemed like part of the script and was done for effect, but it was actually an operator error because Lexi had never used an electric razor before.
“I thought, ‘Great, she has never used a razor and I am about to let her shave my head in about a week,’” Brooks said with a smile.
“It’s going to be fun and I told her she can do whatever she wants to do, and she can be creative. We are raising money for a good cause and I am actually looking forward to it. I’ll save money on shampoo too.”
Beyond the playful banter with his daughter about the prospect of losing his hair for charity, Brooks has treasured this time with his family, including his wife, Sherry, and son, Chance.
Depending on whether a team is in the playoffs or getting ready for the next season, spring is usually a time of pressure or planning for NBA coaches.
“That’s the silver lining of all of this,” Brooks said. “You get to spend a lot of quality time with your kids, you are home with your family for dinner or puzzles, or just a lot of great conversation that typically would not happen this time of year.”
From his home in Newport Beach, California, Brooks has been able to stay connected with his team through everything from old fashioned phone calls to texts, and — like a lot of us right now at our jobs — team business is being conducted with Zoom meetings.
Through this communication, even though at a distance, Brooks is getting to know his players on an even more personal level.
“When you are in a season you are locked in and there is never time to really have in-depth conversations about families or life goals with your players,” said Brooks.
“I love seeing pictures or videos of Brad (Beal) or John (Wall) with their kids and just talking to all the players you discover things you didn’t know.”
“I listened to a podcast, ‘A Day in the Life of Ish Smth,’” said Brooks.
“I called him and said, ‘You are as boring as I am, but at least I don’t watch reruns of “Hey Arnold.”’ It’s been fun conversations and that has helped keep this experience positive.”
While Brooks has not watched reruns of “Hey Arnold,” he has watched every season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” been a fan of the web series “Ozark,” and yes, watched “The Tiger King,” which he called “interesting.”
And like millions, especially those with an interest in basketball, Brooks has spent his Sunday nights with the Michael Jordan docuseries, “The Last Dance.”
“Jordan’s competitive spirit was incredible. He never took a night off,” said Brooks.
“Looking at those videos reminds me of how strong and athletic he was. He was thin, but strong. I tell our players all the time you don’t have to have muscles so you can take of your shirt at the beach and intimidate everybody. You can be a really lean, strong athlete and Jordan exemplified that.”