During the first quarter of the Memphis Grizzlies‘ Game 2 win over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, Memphis’ Dillon Brooks was ejected after committing a Flagrant 2 foul on Golden State guard Gary Payton II.
While Payton went for what looked like would be an easy layup, Brooks came flying in from behind with a foul as Payton was in mid-air. Payton then fell hard to the floor on his elbow and had to leave the game with an injury.
Gary Payton II takes a hard fall after the foul from Dillon Brooks.
Brooks has been an ejected from the game. pic.twitter.com/36wnOrtFZt
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) May 4, 2022
Golden State head coach Steve Kerr was immediately livid about the foul.
Steve Kerr screaming down at the Memphis bench after that Dillon Brooks foul and ejection: "Get the f*** out of here." Klay Thompson: "That's bull****." As upset as I've seen them at a foul.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 4, 2022
Kerr called the play “dirty” during an in-game interview with TNT.
Steve Kerr: "That wasn't physical, it was dirty" pic.twitter.com/OfQUop1aC6
— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) May 4, 2022
Well, after the game, it was announced that Payton’s injury is a fractured elbow, and he’ll have an MRI on Wednesday for more details.
Gary Payton II has a fractured left elbow. Will have an MRI tomorrow.
— Kendra Andrews (@kendra__andrews) May 4, 2022
In his postgame media session, Kerr — along with referring to the play as “dirty” again — said that Brooks “broke the code” with the foul.
Steve Kerr calls Dillon Brooks’ Flagrant 2 foul on GP2 “dirty.”
“He broke the code” pic.twitter.com/KNI4GNPpsS
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 4, 2022
“I don’t know if it was intentional, but it was dirty. Playoff basketball is supposed to be physical; everybody’s going to compete, everybody’s going to fight for everything. But there’s a code in this league. There’s a code that players follow, where you never put a guy’s season/career in jeopardy by taking somebody out in mid-air and clubbing him across the head, and ultimately fracturing Gary’s elbow. This is a guy who’s been toiling the last six years trying to make it in this league, finally found a home, playing his butt off this year. In the playoffs, this should be the time of his life. A guy comes in and whacks him across the head in mid-air. He broke the code. Dillon Brooks broke the code. That’s how I see it.”
Here’s how TNT’s Inside the NBA crew reacted to Kerr saying that Brooks “broke the code”:
"I don't think Dillon Brooks is a dirty player… I don't think he tried to hurt him."@SHAQ & Chuck discuss Dillon Brooks' flagrant 2 foul on Gary Payton II. pic.twitter.com/69jmoUNnTx
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 4, 2022
Game 3 of the second-round series — tied 1-1 — will be Saturday in San Francisco.