This Lakers vs. Grizzlies series is turning out into quite a rowdy rivalry as there’s no love lost between both team’s players. This past Wednesday night at the FedEx Forum was no exception as things got heated between superstar LeBron James and noisy agitator Dillon Brooks.
Memphis tied the series 1-1 at home and they made sure to mock the Los Angeles squad while at it. The Tennessee guard got used to getting in James’ face every time he missed a shot.
Take a look at Brooks’ strategy to take the King’s focus out of the game:
Bron chirping at Dillon Brooks after the tough bucket 👀🍿 pic.twitter.com/SJO7PTFCNi
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 20, 2023
Brooks lost no time. As soon as LeBron drained his first shot from beyond the arc, the players traded insults as the Grizzlies man followed him through the floor and clapped in his face, as the Lakers bench erupted against their opponent.
You could already tell that he was under James’ skin, as the back-and-forth followed down the stretch. Then it was time for Brooks to show off, as he dropped an important three-pointer with 7:49 remaining to the final buzzer, extending Memphis’ lead to double digits. The Grizzlies player stared down at the NBA’s all-time highest scorer for many seconds.
But he wasn’t done, as the guard drilled yet another three-pointer with 90 seconds left to the game and sealed his team’s victory.
During his postmatch interview, Brooks kept at it, trash-talking his way through the press and insulting LeBron with no remorse. “I don’t care, he’s old,” Brooks said.
“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 said. “I poke bears, I don’t respect anyone until they come and give me 40. I pride myself on what I do, defense and taking on any challenge that’s on the board.”
LeBron might be old, but he’s still one of the NBA’s current best athletes
“I just let him know that, ‘you can’t take me one-on-one’. He’s not at the same level that he was when he was on Cleveland winning championships, or Miami,” the Grizzlies guard ranted on after the game. “I wish I got to see that. It would have been a harder task.”
Born on December 30, 1984, LeBron James is 38 years old, he’s the third-oldest player in the NBA, only behind Udonis Haslem (42) and Andre Iguodala (39). But now that the Miami captain is retired, and Iguodala injured, he’s currently the oldest still competing.
Take a look at how the “Inside the NBA” panel of experts reacted to last night’s name-calling episode:
James finished the 2022/23 regular season with averages of 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per contest, which earned him his 19th All-Star selection and proof that he’s still one of the league’s best players in his late 30s.
Now for Game 3 and 4, the series move to Los Angeles, where the purple and gold squad hope to make the Crypto.com Arena their stronghold, starting on Saturday, April 22 at 10 p.m. ET.