Dillon Brooks has a long history of starting beef with his NBA opponents. He's got into with multiple Warriors, namely Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. Elsewhere, he's squared off with the likes of Patrick Beverley and James Harden. However, his most consistent beef is with LeBron James. Their rivalry dates back to 2021 when LeBron made a "too small" gesture at Brooks during a regular-season matchup. Things lay dormant until January of this year when Brooks hailed his defensive ability as he forced LeBron out of plays because the Lakers star "doesn't want to go left."
It's important to remember that Brooks, a 2017 second-round pick out of Oregon, has always been able to back up his fiery personality. Brooks is an elite wing defender and a central pillar of the Grizzlies' backcourt. He is a big reason that Memphis had the third-best defensive rating in the league this year. Furthermore, that was all on display in the Grizzlies' Game 2 win over the Lakers on Wednesday night.
Brooks Calls LeBron "Old"
LeBron may have put up 28 points in the Lakers defeat, but that also came with the star shooting just 1-for-8 from three. Brooks defended LeBron relentlessly all night and things boiled over in the third quarter. As the Grizzlies called a timeout, Brooks claims LeBron called him "dumb" for picking up his fourth personal foul a minute earlier. Brooks proceeded to bark back at LeBron in response. In the fourth, Brooks drilled a three with 7 minutes remaining and stared down LeBron the entire time.
However, the extent of Brooks' comments came in the post-game media availability. Brooks was dismissive when a reporter commented about some people think he shouldn't trash-talk one of the league's brightest stars. "I don't care, he's old." Brooks began, eliciting laughter from the media, "I was waiting for that. I was expecting him to do that Game 4, Game 5. He wanted to say something when I got my fourth foul. He should have been saying that earlier on. But I poke bears. I don't respect no one until they come and give me 40." Brooks went on to call LeBron a "legend" but also "just another basketball player" when he was on the court. The pair will face off again in Saturday's Game 3.