A Chat with OB1
- By Ken Walden, Day 1, 2022
THE DENVER POST - June 14, 2022
by Mark Kiszla
My favorite part of the Denver sports beat has become this:the chance to sit down and chat with Odell Bracey. I've spoken with him many times in the past year, and they never fail to entertain. Today, I had the chance to speak with this young man about his first season and the Denver Dragons's first season in the JBL.
MK: In your first year with the Dragons, you averaged 19 points and 6 assists, received second team recognition on the All-Rookie team, helped your expansion team to 28 wins, and started every game. How do you feel about your pro debut?
OB: What, you think you're negotiating with North Korea? Trying to blow smoke up my ass? I'm not afraid to say it, I had a terrible season. I didn't meet any of my expectations for my rookie season. If I made the second team that's just because I was picked #6 and got a lot of press. I wasn't one of the best rookies in the league. I wasn't even the best rookie on my team. I. own that. Be real with me.
MK: Okay, okay. You certainly expressed bigger goals last off-season. Why do you think you struggled to meet them?
OB: Because I shot like crap. I didn't make the plays I wanted. I gave up the ball. That's just on me. I've got to do better.
MK: You mentioned the other rookies on the team. You were a young group. How would you describe the seasons these other guys had?
OB: Listen, these guys did great. Mitchell, I call him MVB. My Most Valuable Boy. He had a slow start but then he was straight up balling. Boy can shoot from downtown, but does everything. He's legit. Scored 47 in a game. Then you got Clay Stanback, you better stay back. I call him Clayface because he can be anybody. Clay, we need you to play 3 and hit 3s and pass the ball. Okay. No, Clay, we need you to play 4 and post up and get rebounds. Okay. Guy is too chill. And then Rodrick [Guinn]. Tell you the truth, I get Rodrick and Cedric [Durrant] mixed up. I call them both Rick. They both tall as %$ and so all I see is their chest. But both those boys beasting. You can't dunk on these boys, they taller than the basket.
MK: The big story for this off season for you guys is Jevon Novak. The front office just made a trade bringing in the point guard, how do you feel about that?
OB: Oh man, Jason--I call him Jason, I don't know why, he just looks like a Jason--he's a fun guy to watch. I remember when he was at UCLA--this is before I was there, I was still a kid, man. We used to call him Novakaine, because when they tried to defend him, he'd leave them numb and drooling.
MK: How do you think he'll fit on the team?
OB: Well, he will take the point and let me get back to the two. Listen, he's a great scorer. He scored 23 a game this year. And that's going to make it hard for defenses, between me, MVB, and Jason. Especially when I do better than my 19. But I sat down with Jason. And I told him, my man, a few seasons ago you had 9.9 assists. What we're going to do is get you back to that. We're going to swap. You're going to have 10 assists, and my 19, and I'm going to have the 23 points. Hell, make it 28 points.
MK: So you're already bugging him to pass the ball.
OB: Listen, we got other scorers. Even the Ricks hit that long ball. And we've got lots of guys that can pass. No point in him hogging the ball.
MK: You said let's be real. Given your shooting percentages vs his, maybe he shouldn't pass it to you.
OB: That's cold man. Ice. But you're not going to have to worry about that. Listen, I'm in the gym every day. I'm working on my shot, on my first step, my dribble. I'm a millionaire now, but you won't see me at the club. I ain't about that. I'm working every day to improve. I meet someone who's got a thing, I'm doing it. Eating nasty super smoothiess, I'm on it. Sleep device, I got it. They want to give me some gamma rays, I'm going to give them a chance. So you can be sure it's not going to be the same thing next season. These guys are going to have to work if they want to keep up cause you know I will.
MK: Thanks, Odell. I know you're about to hit the gym right now, so I believe you. Looking forward to seeing you in action.
OB: You ain't the only one.