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Dillon Brooks Reflects on Exchange with LeBron James in the 2023 NBA Playoffs: ‘I Felt Like I Had Him’

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - APRIL 19: Dillon Brooks #24 of the Memphis Grizzlies and LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Two of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at FedExForum on April 16, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. 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 Justin Ford/Getty Images)

One of the more drama-filled series in the 2023 NBA Playoffs was the matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies. Dillon Brooks was at the forefront of all the shenanigans as he made headlines for calling LeBron James “old.”

Recently, in an interview with Sportsnet Canada’s Arash Madani, the Canadian bad boy didn’t pull any punches. Madani asked Brooks if he felt he had James following that little chat during pre-game warmups. 

“I feel like I always had him. I feel like that series was thrown upon me because of all the words that I say. But I’ve been saying things all year when we won 50 games.”

Dillon Brooks on LeBron James

In case you’re wondering what Brooks meant, it means he felt he was in James’ head the entire time.

You have to admire Brooks’ confidence. Not anyone has the gall to ‘poke a bear’ like LeBron James, but it’s easy to see the tactics backfired. The 38-year-old kicked it into another gear, especially rebounding the basketball and defensive activity. In fact, James became the first Laker to score at least 20 points and grab 20 rebounds since Shaquille O’Neal. That happened in Game 4 of the series, which the Lakers won 117-111.

Interestingly enough, Brooks’s villainous persona got him paid in the offseason. He got a contract offer from the Rockets worth $86 million over four years. Brooks will join the young core of Jalen Green, Jabari Smith, Alperen Sengun, and Kevin Porter, Jr., adding toughness and playoff experience to the group.

In addition to that, Brooks is currently in Jakarta, Indonesia, to represent Canada in the FIBA World Cup. The country is in Group H with France, Latvia, and Lebanon. Brooks’ physical style of play comes in handy for the international event, as the referees are more likely to allow physicality on the perimeter. 

“I’ve been chilling. I’ve been working out, making sure I get my body right, keep my body right the whole time so I don’t have no drop-off,” Brooks told Sportsnet Canada’s Michael Grange. “And then just focusing mostly on myself, staying off social media, working on my game, doing what I have to do.”

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