Won’t someone think of innocent ‘ole Dillon Brooks?
The Memphis guard, who was ejected from Saturday’s Game 3 after punching LeBron James in his crown jewels just days after he called him old and said he has no respect for him, just can’t figure out why the media is turning him into a villain.
And really, if you ignore his feuding with Draymond Green, his league-leading 18 technical fouls this year, a previous ejection earlier this season because of similar actions as he had in Game 3 and him shoving over a camera operator this season, he has a point. The media is really painting him in a bad light.
Following Grizzlies practice on Sunday and after the announcement he wouldn’t be suspended for Game 4, Brooks spoke to the media, something he chose not to do after Game 3 in his first good decision made this postseason so far. And, shockingly, basically every quote lacks any self-awareness.
Let’s break down those quotes, courtesy of Tim McMahon of ESPN.
“The media making me a villain, the fans making me a villain and then that just creates a whole different persona on me,” Brooks said. “So now you think I intended to hit LeBron James in the nuts. I’m playing basketball. I’m a basketball player. So if I intended — and that’s whatever is in the flagrant 2 category — if you think I did that, that means you think I’m that type of person.”
As previously noted, this is the second time this season Brooks has been ejected after punching someone in the groin. Each one perhaps could be written off as accidents, but when it’s the same person in both instances...let’s just say there appears to be only one person in the league struggling to not punch people below the belt.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be,” Brooks said. “They can’t dictate this series like that. Marc probably had to call that cause of what happened [in Game 3] with James Harden, and that’s just unfair. I get penalized, and I can’t help my team try to make a comeback in the second half.”
Interesting note here from Brooks about not being available for a comeback. Before being ejected, Brooks went 3-13 from the field in 19 minutes. That means he averaged a field goal attempt about every 85 seconds for Memphis. And made three of them, or one every 6:20.
If anything, Brooks not being around for the second half WAS the reason the Grizzlies made a comeback.
“I’ve been dealing with this [for] two years now,” Brooks said. “It is what it is. The fans can talk s---, whatever they want to. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m going to keep playing my game and get better and better each and every day and as long as my career goes.”
Brooks has never had as high an effective field goal percentage as he did his rookie season, so in that regard, he’s actually not getting better each year. Now, granted, he’s probably a much better defender than he was a rookie, though it hasn’t stopped LeBron down at all this series.
Most people head into a contract year looking for a big season to get paid. Brooks is shooting the lowest field goal percentage of his career, the second-lowest 3-point percentage and averaging the fewest points he has since his second season.
“Am I saying anything that’s not facts?” Brooks said.
This is in reference to the comments he made about LeBron after Game 2. Brooks, being very aware that he has become public enemy No. 1 for Lakers fans right now, is choosing to double down after his horrid Game 3 performance rather than, like, not talk.
“I’ve been talking all year,” Brooks said. “We just didn’t hit shots at the beginning of the game.”
Hey! Two factual statements this time. He has talked all year. They didn’t make shots to begin the game. Surely Brooks had nothing to do with that latter thing.
A virtuoso performance from Brooks heading into free agency, as he continues to talk and continues to be actively bad for his team this series. And not just bad, but bad in a way where he’s not aware. He’s shooting 13-40 from the field these playoffs and he didn’t play half a game.
LeBron has had many arch nemeses before Brooks and may have some after. Few have done so little to try to prove they belong anywhere in the same sentence with LeBron as Brooks.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.