NBA penalizes Brooks for playoff antics

After failing to make himself available to reporters on multiple occasions during the first-round series with the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillion Brooks adds another fine to his tally for the season.

The 27-year-old will pay $25,000 because of his “failure to participate in team postgame media availability during the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs,” the NBA announced Sunday.

Brooks has no shortage of things to say. He levied plenty of trash talk toward LeBron James during the series, but he eventually told reporters he feels the media and fans have given him an inaccurate “villain” reputation.

Unfortunately for him, the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement requires players to “consent to and make himself available for interviews by representatives of the media conducted at reasonable times.”

Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks racked up some fines this season. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks racked up some fines this season. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Following the Lakers’ dominant 125-85 Game 6 win, Brooks likely did not want to respond to questions about his attempted rivalry with Lakers star LeBron James.

Brooks called out James following the Grizzlies’ win in Game 2. After that contest, Brooks said James was “old.” Brooks added, “I don’t respect no one ’til they come and give me 40.” The Lakers won Game 6 by 40 points.

Brooks apparently left the locker room before media was allowed to speak with players.

Brooks also dodged media after Game 3. He attempted to “poke the bear” in James, but got himself ejected instead. He was assessed a flagrant two foul for hitting James in the groin, roasted on the internet and outperformed.

He exited the game with seven points on 3-of-13 shooting, while James put up 25 points, nine rebounds and five assists in the Lakers’ 111-101 win.

“I’m good,” he told reporters, who attempted to speak with him after the loss.

Mostly refusing to acknowledge Brooks’ comments and actions during his media availability throughout the series, James appeared respond with some Jay-Z lyrics on Twitter after Game 6:

Brooks finished the six-game series with just 63 points and 20 personal fouls. Even worse, his actions through the regular season and playoffs cost him a significant amount of money. On March 21 it was reported he had lost $248,242 through fines and suspensions.

He was subject to suspensions after becoming the league leader for regular season technical fouls (18). He was also suspended for instigating an on-court altercation with Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell by striking him in the groin area in February. A month later, Brooks was fined $35,000 for shoving a photographer.

As the Lakers advance to the second round, Brooks will have an opportunity to reflect on it all.

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