The latest chapter of Dillon Brooks’ long history with the Lakers had a surprise new character appear in Jarred Vanderbilt. The usually mild-mannered Vando took the bait laid out by Dillon Brooks hook, line and sinker. And as a result, he was ejected.
The play came early in the second quarter after a made basket where Vando shoved Brooks away, earning him his first technical. Smelling blood in the water, Brooks cranked up the talking and Vando responded with a poke/flick/smack to the head, earning his second technical and an ejection.
Jarred Vanderbilt was ejected after getting into it with Dillon Brooks— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) January 30, 2024
It should be noted that this play came right after Brooks had a pretty dirty foul on Vanderbilt when he shoved the Lakers wingman in the back as he was going up for a dunk. Despite going to the monitors, the officials bizarrely determined it was only a common foul.
Jarred Vanderbilt was shaken up after this hard foul by Dillon Brooks— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) January 30, 2024
Was a common foul the right call here? pic.twitter.com/w2y3BQcjEG
Less than a minute of game time transpired between that foul and Vando’s ejection, which certainly isn’t a surprise. And as wildly wrong as the refs got the call on that Brooks foul — really, how is a shove in the back in midair not determined a flagrant foul — there is no excuse for Vando to take the Brooks bait.
Brooks’ history with the Lakers has already had multiple twists and turns this year after the playoffs last year. LeBron torched him and clowned on him in a game earlier this year, including the game-winning free throws in that contest. After the game, LeBron talked about how much he enjoyed playing Brooks, which is something you say after you drop 37 points on someone.
Truly, this is the saga no Lakers fans want that won’t go away.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.