Dillon Brooks on those who say not to talk to LeBron James: ‘I don’t care, he’s old’
Dillon Brooks will talk trash to just about anyone, and if you need proof of that, he made that clear at the end of the regular season he wanted to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the postseason. Well he got his wish and for a while it looked like he might regret it. The Lakers won Game 1 of the series on Sunday, and before Game 2 tipped on Wednesday, star point guard Ja Morant was ruled out with a hand injury.
But Brooks and the remaining Grizzlies stayed strong. They controlled Game 2 from the start and had built up a 20-point lead in the third quarter. James and the Lakers struggled to close that lead, and when he was down to 14, James and Brooks were caught on camera having a somewhat heated exchange. The Grizzlies went on to win the game, 103-93, and when asked how he would respond to those who said not to talk trash to someone as savvy as James, he broke the question off quickly.
“I don’t care, he’s old” Brooks said. “I was waiting for it, I expected him to do Game 4, Game 5, he was going to say something when I got my fourth foul. He shouldn’t have said that sooner. I toast bears. I don’t respect anyone until they come and give me 40.”
If anything, Brooks feels players are overly concerned with their teammates’ performances when trying to beat them.
“Obviously I have some respect” Brooks said. “He is a legend. He is LeBron James. But when I’m on this floor, you’re just another player to me. I don’t care who you are You’re only 6-8, 270 pounds, and you’re a basketball player. And that’s where people don’t see that part of this game where it was, oh, I had these moments, year one, year two, where it’s like, ‘Oh, he’s glowing; he shines. ‘ But now I’m making a name for myself.”
The series is tied 1-1 and whether or not Brooks succeeded in his individual matchup with James is a matter of debate. James shot 12 of 19 off the field with Brooks as his main defense in the series, according to NBA.com tracking data. This obviously doesn’t look good for Brooks. However, James only attempts four free throws per game, and while he’s averaging 24.5 points per game throughout the series, that’s down from a career postseason average of 28.7. Brooks makes James work for his points. There’s no real stopping a player of LeBron’s caliber, but Brooks at least exhausted him successfully. James has only 11 points in the fourth quarter of the series despite both games being relatively close.
As Draymond Green has learned, Brooks will never rest. James is experienced enough to know not to let Brooks get into his head. The best way to shut him up is to hit him, and his next chance to do so comes on Saturday when the Lakers host Game 3 in Los Angeles.