Brooks has been hammered with criticism following the Grizzlies’ season-ending loss in Game 6 of their first-round series against the Lakers. He talked a ton of junk to James and Co. but didn’t back it up with his play, averaging just 10.5 points in the series, shooting a miserable 31.2% from the field and 23.8% from 3-point land.
Brooks had avoided talking to the media — and was fined $25,000 for doing so — but broke his silence on the situation on Sunday.
“No, that’s who I am,” Brooks said when asked if he had regrets. “I don’t regret it. I’m a competitor. I compete.”
Dillon Brooks Was Called Out By LeBron James After Series
“I don’t care — he’s old. You know what I mean?” Brooks said after the Grizzlies won Game 2 and he got into a brief verbal altercation with James. “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.”
Brooks did not feel like those comments gave James extra motivation in the series.
“It has been a little while, so he was ready to play,” Brooks said. “Overall, we just got to be better.”
The rebuttal from Brooks comes a day after James appeared to call him and the rest of the Grizzlies out for their disrespect.
“Unlike you little [expletive] I’m a grown a** man. Big shoes to fill, grown a** pants. Prolly hustled with your pops, go ask your parents. It’s apparent you’re staring at a legend, who put a few little [expletive] in they place before. Trying to eat without saying they grace before!” James tweeted.
Dillon Brooks’ Future With Memphis in Question
The Grizzlies were the favored team heading into the series as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference but it quickly became apparent they would have their hands full with the Lakers. It ended with a 40-point loss to LA in Game 6 — the largest postseason loss in franchise history.
The Grizzlies brass alluded to “self-created distractions” on Sunday, which would certainly fit the bill for what happened with Brooks.
“I think there were certainly self-created distractions we were navigating in this series,” Grizzlies general manager and president of basketball operations Zach Kleiman said. “As we’re looking forward and thinking about what comes next, those are all things that we’re going to keep in mind from a competitive standpoint.”
Brooks will be a free agent this offseason and the market for his services will be interesting. He can be a solid defender but his decision-making and offensive efficiency are very questionable.
LeBron James and the Lakers are preparing for the Western Conference semifinals against either the Golden State Warriors or Sacramento Kings.