We can say this much for Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks. He’s not afraid to stir the pot.
On Wednesday night, Brooks did just that, calling out Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
Brooks and the Grizzlies defeated James and the Lakers 103-93 on Wednesday, squaring the first-round playoff series between the two teams at 1-1. Brooks spent much of the night talking with James. After the game, Brooks had a lot else to say about LeBron.
“I don’t care, he’s old,” Brooks said, per Damichael Cole, Memphis Commercial Appeal. “I poke bears. I don’t respect no one until they come and give me 40 (points).”
Brooks was not done.
“I let him know that you can’t take me one-on-one. You haven’t,” he said. “You can go look at the film. He doesn’t really take me one on one until that moment.”
“When I’m on that floor, you’re just another player to me,” Brooks said. “I don’t care who you are. You’re just 6-8, 270 pounds and you’re a basketball player.”
He also added that the version of LeBron that played on the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat would be a “harder task.”
Dillon Brooks says he wish he would’ve gotten a chance to guard Miami or Cleveland LeBron James.
“It would’ve been a harder task.”
— Damichael Cole (@DamichaelC) April 20, 2023
These comments drew a mixed response. Few doubted that Brooks may be punching above his weight. Some in the NBA world, though, liked seeing it.
He biting off more than he can chew, but I like it https://t.co/b1S0Ss16MM
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) April 20, 2023
Brooks better be careful or LeBron is going to have a vintage playoff game against him! https://t.co/Y03y85e556
— Brett Siegel (@BrettSiegelNBA) April 20, 2023
— Neel Madhavan (@NeelMadhavan) April 20, 2023
I mean, I guess he’s right – the MIA/CLE LeBron was a better version of LeBron. Still seems a little strange to be talking like that though when the 38 year old version went 28 & 12 on you. https://t.co/7KYMlXs26l pic.twitter.com/81dUBEt6PD
— Andrew Gundling (@agundling) April 20, 2023
Historically speaking, calling out LeBron James has not been a wise thing to do. And as good as Brooks and the Grizzlies looked on Wednesday, that game was significantly more important to them than the Lakers. Los Angeles had already stolen home-court advantage away in Game 1 and was essentially playing with house money on Wednesday.
Game 3 will be in Los Angeles on Friday and the Lakers will have significantly more pressure in that one. It will be interesting to see how James and company respond to a poor Game 2 effort and being called out after it.