Because he spent much of the latter half of his playoff series backpedaling and hiding from the media, we couldn’t get the blow-by-blow account and reaction from Dillon Brooks that we deserved. A $25,000 fine from the NBA perhaps helped change his mind, as he spoke at his exit interview on Sunday and finally addressed some matters.
And really, to the shock of no one, even with the benefit of hindsight, Brooks stated he did not regret trash-talking LeBron James.
“That’s who I am. I don’t regret it,” Brooks said. “I’m a competitor and I compete. I don’t think it got LeBron geeked up. Back in the playoffs, it’s been a little while, so I think he was ready to play. Overall, we just got a better team, a bigger team, guys that have their whole team, their whole pieces there. I’m just going to continue to be me and get better at what I do.”
Shocking from Brooks. Really. Who could have guessed the guy who spent so much of the season and postseason talking and talking and talking all nonsense continued talking nonsense?
LeBron is someone who certainly didn’t need Brooks to talk to get motivated. As Brooks himself said, there were probably lots of factors that got him motivated. But that certainly added some fuel to the fire.
Now, having said all that, if Brooks had simply come out with this quote, say, after Game 3 or even Game 4, perception of him probably would have been a lot different. This would have been a pretty standard quote and fans would have rolled their eyes but probably would have let things go a bit more.
Instead, he kept ducking the media and, to be honest, nobody is really paying attention to exit interviews. You’ve already lost the battle at that point, especially when you spent the better part of this series leaving the locker room before media was allowed in.
But the ship sailed and Brooks is the villain through his own doing and nothing of the media’s and fan’s. Brooks earned one hell of a reputation for himself over the last two weeks. Good luck ever shaking that one off.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.