Los Angeles Lakers’ star LeBron James doesn’t seem eager to get into a public war of words with Memphis Grizzlies’ forward Dillon Brooks. Brooks blasted James verbally after Memphis’ Game 2 win Wednesday, saying things such as “You can’t take me one-on-one” and “When I’m on that floor, you’re just another player to me,” then blasted him physically with a shot to the groin in Game 3. That saw Brooks ejected with a flagrant 2 foul. But in a postgame press conference following the Lakers’ 111-101 win, James didn’t have much to say about Brooks specifically, other than talking about how Brooks falls in a long line of players who have tried to rile him up:
Lakers' LeBron James on dealing with Grizzlies' Dillon Brooks: "“This is not my first rodeo. I had this throughout my career with certain individuals. It’s easy." Via @SportingTrib https://t.co/KpwK0sKemZ pic.twitter.com/3AQNJjdwkZ
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 23, 2023
Here are more of James’ comments there, including his refusal to address if he thinks Brooks should be suspended for Game 4 Monday:
“I know what I have to do,” James said. “This is not my first rodeo. I had this throughout my career with certain individuals. It’s easy. It’s literally easy.”
…“My resume and what I’ve done for this league speaks for itself,” James said. “I don’t really get caught up with any comments like that. At the end of the day, my focus is to my teammates and us trying to figure out how to beat the Memphis Grizzlies.”
…“I don’t know. I’m not part of the committee,” James said. “If he’s in the lineup or he’s out of the lineup, we have to prepare no matter what. I look forward to the challenges that Monday will bring.”
That’s quite the mild response to a groin shot (which came in the third quarter with the Lakers up 16, and came in a game where they led by 26 after the first quarter). And James (seen above after this game) even didn’t talk about Brooks when asked about that foul during an on-court postgame interview:
"Just tried to get up, protect my crown jewels, and move on to the next play."
LeBron James on the Dillon Brooks incident pic.twitter.com/6DrKWpCmtA
— Oh no he didn't (@ohnohedidnt24) April 23, 2023
Here’s the groin shot in question:
Dillon Brooks is ejected after being given a Flagrant 2 for a shot to LeBron James' midsection. pic.twitter.com/8OdqXrJPfq
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) April 23, 2023
So James doesn’t seem too eager to publicly respond to Brooks’ taunting here. We’ll see if his reserved approach to this continues as the series goes on.
[The Sporting Tribune; photo from Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports]