The Los Angeles Lakers were the surprise of the 2023 Playoffs as they came in as a seventh seed and faced off against the Memphis Grizzlies in round one.
It was a physical series between the Lakers and Grizzlies, though a lot of the drama revolved around Dillon Brooks trying to antagonize LeBron James. Brooks did his best to rile up Los Angeles and James after he called the superstar ‘old” following their Game 2 loss.
However, James and the Lakers would have the last laugh as they beat the Grizzlies in six games. Memphis decided to part ways with Brooks, who later signed a lucrative four-year, $80 million deal with the Houston Rockets.
When the contract details were reported, there was instant ridicule for Brooks given his poor playoff performance but James believes that the swingman earned his money, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“I think every player that is awarded with a contract is awarded for a reason, and they’re worthy of the contract that they get,” James said Wednesday when asked whether Brooks might have boosted his market value by casting himself as the Lakers star’s foil.
“So I think in his case, he was worthy of the contract he got. He’s put in the work since he came out of Oregon, and that’s what Houston found value in and he’s here. So no, I think it has nothing to do with that.”
James has always done his best to take the high road and this is a perfect example of that as Brooks said he was ready to lock James up. LeBron has made subtle comments and jabs at players before, but for the most part he has always defended his peers despite any perceived beef.
Brooks is a nuisance that seems to never know when to stop talking, but he and the Rockets have every right to brag considering they embarrassed the Lakers. Los Angeles and James may be shorthanded, but there’s no excuse for them getting blown out the way they did.
Dillon Brooks compares villain persona to Kobe Bryant’s Black Mamba
Brooks has relished the opportunity to irritate other players, and he’s carried that villainous attitude to Houston. Players have shown they have a completely different persona on the floor and Brooks believes that his feisty personality is similar to Kobe Bryant’s Black Mamba alter ego.
Off the court, though, Brooks insists he’s a loving and caring guy.
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