Grizzlies bad boy Dillon Brooks avoided a suspension for hitting LeBron James’ groin in Game 3 of their first-round series, but his on-court antics could cost him his job in Memphis this summer.
‘I don’t know if Dillon Brooks is on this team after this series,’ ESPN’s Tim MacMahon said on Briand Windhorst’s podcast. ‘We’ll see if the Grizzlies can comeback and win it.’
The second-seeded Grizzlies trail the Lakers, 2-1, heading into Monday’s Game 4 in Los Angeles. Brooks, who recently referred to James as ‘old,’ will be a free agent this season, so unless Memphis finds a way to come back, he could be in his final days with the team.
‘I certainly don’t know if he’s on this team after free agency this summer, but the problem is if he’s not, who’s guarding all the best players? All the stars on the other teams?’ MacMahon asked about Brooks, who is considered one of the better perimeter defenders in basketball.
There are several things working against Brooks, including his frequent run-ins with league officials and his lacklustre perimeter shooting. The Canadian-born 27-year-old made only 32.6 percent of his 3-point attempts this season, which allows opposing defenders to ignore him beyond the arc while focusing on Brooks’ high-scoring teammates, like Ja Morant.
Brooks (left) set to become a free agent and was shopped by Memphis at the deadline
Brooks recently called James ‘old’ during a post-game interview with reporters last week
And according to MacMahon, Brooks’ tenure in Memphis was nearly ended back in February, when the team was actively trying to trade him before the deadline.
‘They tried to upgrade at the trade deadline,’ MacMahon said. ‘They threw four picks at the Nets trying to get Mikal Bridges. They really weren’t able to get the Raptors in serious conversations, but they would have given up a few picks to get OG Anuoby. They’ve tried to move on from Dillon Brooks already.
Although the Grizzlies failed to acquire Bridges, they could potentially swing a trade for another lanky perimeter defender from Brooklyn: Dorian Finney-Smith.
‘If they’re letting Dillon Brooks [go], they absolutely have to get a really, really, really good defensive wing player,’ MacMahon said. ‘They can let him go in free agency, they just have to figure out how to replace him. Trust me, they’ve put a lot of thought into that.’
Brooks recently told reporters that he believes his image as an NBA villain contributed to the decision to eject him from Game 3.
ron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks with Dillon Brooks #24 of the Memphis Grizzlies
Brooks said Sunday his flagrant foul 2 was an accident, and he believes his reputation in the media and among the basketball public were factors in his ejection from the third quarter of Memphis’ 111-101 loss Saturday night.
‘The media making me a villain, the fans making me a villain and then that just creates a whole different persona on me,’ Brooks told reporters after the Grizzlies’ off-day shootaround at USC’s Galen Center.
Brooks struck James just 17 seconds into the second half, and he was ejected after a brief video review. Brooks’ teammates tried to argue after the game that Brooks’ flagrant foul had been unintentional.
James is averaging 23ppg this series while being defended primarily by Brooks (left)
Brooks was ejected from a game for the third time this season, delighting a Lakers home crowd that had been booing his every move since pregame warmups. He did not receive a suspension for the act.
He led the NBA with 18 technical fouls this season, earning a pair of one-game suspensions in the process. He described his own playing philosophy last week as: ‘I poke bears,’ and he made headlines across the league by dismissively calling James ‘old’ even though the 27-year-old Brooks is the oldest active player on his own roster.
Brooks and James have jostled verbally in the past two games of the series, but James hasn’t said anything publicly about Brooks.
Brooks also got tossed for striking Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell in the groin in February. He was even thrown out of a playoff game last season for a flagrant foul on Golden State’s Gary Payton II, earning another suspension.
Yet Brooks apparently believes he has been miscast as a villain for the past two years, and he intends to prove his haters wrong by improving as a player. He has struggled against the Lakers, and he was 3-for-13 with little defensive impact at the time of his ejection from Game 3.
‘It doesn’t matter to me,’ Brooks said. ‘I’m going to keep playing my game and get better and better each and every day and as long as my career goes.’
James works to get position while being defended by Brooks in Game 3 of their series
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Sports Event Casino Handicap Description
|It means not giving in to each other, and winning 1 point wins all.
|Indicates that when the handicap team is tied with the transferee team, the team betting on the handicap loses 50%.
|Indicates that when the handicap team is tied with the transferee team, the team betting on the handicap loses.
|When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap wins 50% and wins all 2 points.
|Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the two teams will tie and win by 2 points.
|When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 2 points.
|When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins by 2 points.
|When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap wins 50% and wins all 3 points.
|Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the two teams will tie and win all 3 points.
|When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 3 points.
|When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins all 3 points.
|When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap wins 50%, and all 4 points win.
|Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the two teams will tie and win all 4 points.
|When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 4 points.
|When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins all 4 points.
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