After a flurry of trash talk, Dillon Brooks got a quick message from Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James prior to the start of Game 3.
The two met up prior to tip-off, with James putting his head down and appearing to mutter a message to Brooks. LeBron backed up and continued talking as Brooks shook his head. So what was said?
“He just told me his birthday,” Brooks said.
Brooks took some shots at the 38-year-old James for being “old” after they got into a brief verbal spat in Game 2, which the Grizzlies won.
“I don’t care — he’s old. You know what I mean?” Brooks said. “I was waiting for that. I was expecting him to do that Game 4, Game 5. He wanted to say something when I got my fourth foul. He should have been saying that earlier on. But I poke bears. I don’t respect no one until they come and give me 40.”
James has tried to keep the focus on the play, not the trash talk. He’s spent almost two decades in the NBA and having a pest trying to loop him into a rivalry is nothing new. He’s had countless pests try to bother him over the years.
As for the conversation, James didn’t dub it a “private” one since he was on the court when it happened.
“There was nothing private about it,” James said. “It was very, very public. I like it that way.”
LeBron James: ‘I’ve Made Enough Statements’
James did his talking with his play. The Lakers superstar posted 25 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Brooks was ejected early in the second half for a low blow on James, exiting with 7 points on 3-of-13 shooting.
James is averaging 24.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists in the series, adding 1.7 blocks and 1.3 steals on the defensive end. He was clutch as the Lakers took a 2-1 series lead in Game 3 but is focused on winning, not making statements.
“I’ve been doing this too long. I’ve made enough statements,” James said. “No. We had an opportunity to come home and play well on our home floor, and we did that. No statement was made. We just wanted to play well and got a win. And we want to try to do that in Game 4, as well.
“But I don’t need to make statements.”
Prior to Game 3, James was irritated with a line of questioning from the media about Brooks.
“Tomorrow is going to be a great game,” James said, cutting his media availability short. “I’m not here for the bulls**t. I’m ready to play, and that’s it.”
Dillon Brooks Faces Uncertain Future After Season
Brooks has been reminded but just about everyone that his resume doesn’t warrant all the talking. During Game 3 at Crypto.com Arena, the jumbotron showed a comparison between the careers of James and Brooks with the title, “You’re not that guy.”
Brooks will be a free agent after this season. NBA insider Tim MacMahon isn’t sure what the market will look for his services next season.
“They’ve tried to move on from Dillon Brooks already,” MacMahon said. “I don’t know if Dillon Brooks is on this team after this series.”
Brooks averaged 14.3 points on a rough 39.6% shooting this season.