Last week I found myself watching game 4 of the 1996 NBA Finals. It’s all on Youtube, and I couldn’t resist. But as the game started and the starting lineups were announced, there was a mysterious Sonic whose name I didn’t recognize. It was starting center Frank Brickowski, and as I continued watching the game, I wondered how in the hell I had forgotten about this guy.
Shawn Kemp got all the glory, Sam Perkins was remembered as a solid scorer, and Detlef Schrempf was the hometown hero. But Frank Brickowski was the enforcer with a soft side. I kept watching game 4, and I realized that Brickowski’s entire job was to rile up Dennis Rodman. He was going in there with reckless abandon, not frightened by Rodman’s hair, tattoos, or insanity. Brickowski wasn’t afraid to roughhouse with Rodman, getting called for multiple flagrant and technical fouls throughout the series.
I had to look the guy up, he was just a 6’11 white dude who looked like a normal average joe, but played like Bill Laimbeer. Sort of. It turns out that he developed a three-point stroke out of nowhere in the 1996 season, and was a real boon to the Sonics’ playoff run. After 1996, he fell off the basketball map, and hasn’t been heard from since, as far as I know.
So here’s to you, Frank Brickowski. If anybody wants 15-30 minutes of great procrastination, just search him on Youtube, or watch this one. Great highlights, great commentary, and great fun. If anyone out there knows what he is up to these days, let us know, and tell him he is still loved and missed in Seattle.