One of the Houston Rockets’ major offseason acquisitions has no lack of confidence.

Wing Dillon Brooks – whom the Rockets recently inked to a four-year, $86-million deal via sign-and-trade – says his stout defense is always a factor in opposing players’ heads.

“I know every single night, guys are thinking about me,” Brooks told The Athletic’s Kelly Iko. “It’s in their mind before the game even starts.”

Brooks was named to the All-Defensive second team for the 2022-23 season. He graded out well in metrics such as defensive estimated plus-minus (EPM), where he ranked in the 95th percentile.

Brooks was also routinely tasked with defending opposing stars, including LeBron James in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

The 27-year-old Brooks was part of a massive free-agent spending spree for Houston, which brought in veterans Fred VanVleet, Jeff Green, and Jock Landale.

Brooks says his toughness and defense-first mentality will help a young Rockets team that has finished with a bottom-three record in each of the past three campaigns.

“Just a lot of grit,” Brooks said. “A lot of heart, a lot of knowledge, good defensive game as well.”

The veteran added that he can mentor some of the Rockets’ young players, such as second-year forward Tari Eason. Eason was named to the All-Rookie second team last season.

Brooks spent the first six years of his career with the Grizzlies, who acquired him on draft night in 2017.

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