Dillon Brooks has had a lot to say about Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James but the four-time MVP isn’t playing that game.
Brooks and James got into a verbal spat during Game 2 of their first-round series, which the Grizzlies won 103-93 to even things up at 1-1. Brooks’ game is built upon trash talk off and on the court and lived up to that reputation after the game.
“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 was asked multiple times about Brooks on Friday during his media availability and tried to keep the focus on the game — not the antics.
“No,” James initially responded when asked if he had a response for Brooks.
He continued: “The game is won in between the four lines. Always has. Always will be.”
James appeared frustrated over the line of questioning and cut his media session short with a solid send-off.
“Tomorrow is going to be a great game,” James said before walking away. “I’m not here for the bulls**t. I’m ready to play, and that’s it.”
Dillon Brooks Has Taken Multiple Shots at LeBron James
James is averaging 24.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4 assists in the series. James has scored 26 of his 49 points against Brooks, shooting 61.1% against him, per NBA.com. But his consistent output hasn’t stopped Brooks from taking shots.
“He’s not at the same level that he was when he was on Cleveland winning championships, Miami,” Brooks said. “I wish I got to see that. It would have been a harder task, but I’m playing with what I’ve got. Just wear and tear on him throughout a seven-game series and see if he can take it. See if he wants to play the one-on-one battle or if he wants to be out on the sidelines shooting the basketball.”
Brooks didn’t exactly put up a stat line that gave him leeway to talk smack in Game 2. He played just 23 minutes due to foul trouble, totaling 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting. What he hung his hat on was his defense.
“I said, ‘Oh, finally you want to talk,'” Brooks said. “Then we started to get into a conversation. I just let him know that, ‘You can’t take me one-on-one. You haven’t.’ You go look at the film; he doesn’t really take me one-on-one until that moment.
“Then when he got subbed out, he was tired. So I did my job.”
Lakers Looking to Rebound After Blown Opportunity
The Lakers blew a really good shot of going up 2-0 in the series on Wednesday, not capitalizing on Memphis star Ja Morant being sidelined with a hand injury.
“It’s the first to four not the first to one,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said “We anticipated a really grueling series.”
The Lakers are still in a good spot to pull off what would be dubbed an “upset” seeding-wise. The Grizzlies were the No. 2 seed and they were the No. 7. But James has said previously that it’s a whole new ballgame when it comes to postseason play.
“It’s 16 teams in the postseason, and there’s opportunity for all 16,” James said ahead of the series. “Everyone’s record is 0-0 now and we’re playing against a very worthy opponent and we respect them a lot. So we just got to be ready for the challenge.”
The series shifts back to Los Angeles for Game 3, where the Lakers are 4.5-point favorites.