Somewhere between a soaring, and-one dunk and its ensuing free throw, Oshae Brissett had time to offer one of his patented mean mugs. He’d had a few of them during the 2021 NBA G League season, but this one was different. He was up to 21 points (ended with 24), marking the fifth of his eventual seven games of 20+ points. Brissett was on a mission, even with his NBA G League team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, being 3-6 at the time.
The look said it all.
A bit over a month later, on April 1, the Canada native signed a 10-Day Contract with the Indiana Pacers. On April 11, he signed a second 10-Day Contract. Wednesday, Brissett inked a three-year deal with the team.
“I don’t know how to feel about that, it’s crazy,” Brissett said. “All my hard work is paying off and I’m just proud of myself and excited to be here for the long run and help us win some games.”
From 10-Day to All-Day 😎
Let's get it @Obrissy‼️✍🏾
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 21, 2021
The situation that Brissett finds himself in isn’t totally foreign. He’s reunited with Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren, who was an assistant coach under Nick Nurse in Toronto while Oshae was on a two-way contract with the Raptors last season.
“Me and coach Nate really became close with Team Canada and all of last year [with the Raptors],” Brissett said. “I knew coming into this what he wanted from me because we talked a lot last year with the Raptors.”
The undrafted guard out of Syracuse averaged 18.6 points (led team, 10th in league), 9.8 rebounds (led team), and 2.3 assists per-game in 12 games with the Mad Ants this season before being named to the All-NBA G League Second Team.
Brissett acknowledges his role with the Pacers, as he might not be one of the “main guys,” but he’s making it a priority to bring whatever Bjorkgren needs from him — from being an energizer to a rebounder, defender, or scorer — every night.
“If I’m not playing, I’m always trying to lift the guys up,” Brissett said. “I know basketball is more of a mental game and if I can be that guy to help everybody feel better…I know that really helps. Just being a team player. We have our main guys and my job now is to come in and do whatever coach needs me to do.”
In the seven games he’s played with Indiana, Brissett has reached double-figures in scoring three times including a career-high 23 on Wednesday. He grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds that game, too, notching his first NBA double-double. He’s shooting just over 59% from the field, 42.9% from three, and started the first two games of his career this week.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 22, 2021
“I called my mom, my dad right away,” Brissett said. “Called my daughter, told her. And we all just celebrated and we were laughing and talking on the phone. It was just a great, great moment and you know, these next couple of weeks I want them to come out here and watch a couple games and stuff. We’re all going to try and celebrate once we all get together.”