Memphis Grizzlies guard-forward Dillon Brooks didn’t shy away from standing up to LeBron James in their round one loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, calling the newly-crowned all-time NBA scoring leader “old,” among other disparagements. Unfortunately, it’s that brash behavior that might be the primary catalyst for the Grizzlies deciding that they won’t bring Brooks back next season “under any circumstances.”
Though some NBA analysts such as Jim Jackson saw Brooks’ trash talk of James as cheap and analogous to trash-talking “Michael Jordan when he was with the Wizards,” fellow analyst Stephen Jackson sees the whole Dillon Brooks and LeBron James confrontation in an entirely different light.
“For me, I think it’s bulls–t,” Jackson said on the “Paper Route” podcast. “I guess if you offend LeBron, everybody gets mad. I guess when you compete against LeBron, everybody gets mad. Yeah, he got a chip on his shoulder. Yeah, he might say some things. But he ain’t the first player to do that. Ron Artest did it, I did, Draymond [Green] does it. I don’t agree with them coming out and saying that s–t.”
Jackson believes that Brooks may have “ruffled [some] feathers” and instead of cutting ties with him as a result, the Grizzlies should instead be cognizant of Brooks as as player with a fierce competitive nature.
“I’ve been in those shoes when people try to demean your character and say these certain things about you and don’t understand that this guy just likes playing the game a certain type of way,” Jackson continued. “Is he the most talented player? No, but he competes. He’s in the NBA for a reason. You signed him. You brought him there for a reason. But don’t demean him now because he said some things or he might’ve ruffled your feathers.”
Jackson believes that the Grizzlies shouldn’t have “singled out” Brooks either.
“What would have been better for Memphis to come out and say, ‘You know what, we can’t have Ja doing all this and Dillon,” Jackson added. “We have to get rid of one of them for the betterment of our organization.’ Don’t just try to single Dillon Brooks out just because he played the game a certain way with a chip on his shoulder to make it seem like he’s a bad guy, and we’re just going to come out and say we don’t want to bring him back at all. I think that’s bulls–t on their behalf.”
Jackson was referring to Ja Morant flashing a gun on an Instagram video at a club not long after he got into a physical altercation with a minor, an encounter in which he also reportedly brandished a gun.
“I’ve just got to be better with my decision-making,” Morant told ESPN. “That’s pretty much it. Off-the-court issues affected us as an organization pretty much. Just [need] more discipline.”
Dillon Brooks will be an unrestricted free agent following this season. It’s not expected that the Memphis Grizzlies will sign him to a new deal. Brooks has played 6 seasons in the NBA, all for the Grizzlies. He averaged 14.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 345 games.
What do you think of the Memphis Grizzlies saying that they won’t resign Dillon Brooks after the LeBron James confrontation? Let us know in the comments.