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Dillon Brooks Admits He Intentionally Slaps Players’ Hands When They Shoot

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 17: Dillon Brooks #9 of the Houston Rockets looks on during the national anthem ahead of an NBA In-Season Tournament game against the LA Clippers at Crypto.com Arena on November 17, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Dillon Brooks, who named himself “Dillon the Villain,” admits that he slaps rival players’ hands when they shoot. While it is a legal play, it allows the forward to play mind games on the player he’s guarding.

Dillon Brooks Tries To Get In Your Head

Mind games are an essential aspect of basketball. If a player has a weak mentality, they’re liable to specific plays thought of by other teams.

In an interview with The Athletic, Brooks talks about getting into other players’ heads. Anytime he tries to contest a shot, he “high fives” them after the ball is let loose.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19: Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) handles the ball while Houston Rockets forward Dillon Brooks (9) defends during the first half at Crypto.com Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023 in Los Angeles, CA. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This can create an imbalance in their rhythm while pushing doubts into their mind whenever the Houston Rockets forward guards them.

“I feel like everyone in the league knows I slap people’s hands on jump shots after the ball’s released. So it puts a thought in their mind that when I close out, you’re not getting a free shot. When they work out, they’re so used to following through. But when I close out, I like to mix in different things like that.”

Dillon Brooks

This tactic seems to work for Brooks as the Rockets tie the Oklahoma City Thunder for the fourth-best defensive team in the league according to Cleaning The Glass.

However, other statistics websites, like StatMuse, put the Rockets just below the Thunder by a spot, making them the sixth-best defensive team.

Meanwhile, Lineups puts them fourth over the Thunder’s ninth spot.

Despite some users’ beliefs, slapping a player’s hand after they release the ball is legal in the NBA. The league’s rulebook details how it allows these types of contact.

Brooks’ Strategy Resembles Shane Battier’s Defense

Coincidentally, a former Rockets player used a similar technique to throw players off with their shots. Specifically, Shane Battier always tried to put his hand in front of Kobe Bryant’s face when he tried to make a shot.

This achieves the same mental game that Brooks is trying. Not only does it block their vision, but it also gets into their head anytime they see Battier running up to them.

He details it further in a video on the NBA on ESPN‘s YouTube channel. His literal hand in the face of players threw off a lot of shots, one of those being Bryant’s.

Do you think Brooks will achieve the same success his predecessor did?