Indianapolis-Oshae Brissett hobbled into the Collins-Fuson interview room at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Monday night. He was wearing sunglasses, as if the paparazzi would start taking pictures at any time.
Don't say it's dark outside. The lights on the stage were still on, and Brissett was full of swagger and self-confidence.
In the Pacers' 116-110 victory over the Wizards, the Pacers' reserve team just scored 12 points and 8 rebounds, helping to end the four-game losing streak.
Before being interviewed by the media, he took off his sunglasses at the request of the Indiana public relations team, although his smile was still bright.
"It's great, great," said Brissett, who has been in and out of the rotation this season. "The hard work I have been working hard has really shown. I have been watching to see how I can adapt to these players. I have known since last year that they played with them, started all these games, played all these Game minutes. I know where they like to go and how they like to play.
"But just being there, cheering for them and doing my best on the sidelines to help me stay engaged and involved."
Brissett has played 26 games for the Indiana team this season, including 15 games. He could play for 11 other people, but Pacers coach Rick Carlisle decided not to let him play.
However, Carlisle recently changed his mind.
In the past three games, he averaged 22.7 minutes for Brissett, including 29 minutes against the Wizards on Monday night, which is his second longest playing time in the entire season.
Brissett made a 3-pointer from outside the three-point line and took full advantage of his advantage.
"I think the first two three-pointers he made in the first quarter are really important within the range of the game. This gives us some cushion," Carlisle said. "His activity, offensive rebounds and one or two ball returns were very good in the second half. So I am happy for him."
"What caused it? It just felt like it was time, and his reaction was good."
With 2:37 left in the third quarter, Brissett made the last three-pointer, giving Indiana a 84-67 lead and forcing Washington to time out. Before walking to the team's bench, Brissett let out a scream and gave a high-five to a fan on the sidelines.
"This is my way," Brissett said. "I like to speak loudly and show different things during the game. Not only to make me move forward, but to move the whole team forward. When we play, we want to have fun. I don't want to be "just a cutscene in there." This is a game. We want to have fun, we want to be ourselves, so I will continue to do so. "
Caris LeVert said that Brissett's passion and genuine love for the sport is both pleasant and influential.
"It is very contagious," LeVert said. "To maintain this level of participation-when you are not participating in the game and you do not know when you will participate in the game, your playing time is a bit inconsistent-this also shows that he is not the kind of person on the court, so it is easy to use this For food."
Brissett, a third-year forward at Syracuse University, said he relied most on point guard Malcolm Brogdon in the early stages of his career. Brogdon’s best advice: Stay in the gym.
Even on Thanksgiving Day, Brissett and Colan Martin both shot on the Pacers’ training ground, and their dedication translated into a balanced victory on Monday.
Domantas Sabonis led Indiana with 30 points and 10 rebounds. LeVille had 19 points, Brogdon had 17 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds, and Martin had 2 three-pointers off the bench. All nine Pacers players who entered the game scored.
"I don't really remember when we won last time. It feels like it's been a long time (before)," Brissett said. "But I'm very happy that we can work together, play together, play the way we should. We just need to continue."
The Pacers will host the Knicks on Wednesday. After Brissett's outstanding performance on Monday, he may need those sunglasses as he continues to work hard to be the man in the spotlight.
"I don't know," Brissett said, putting on sunglasses when answering the last question of the media conference. "I think it's just looking good, feeling good, playing good things, do you know what I mean?"