NBA Rumors: Dillon Brooks still delusional about LeBron James matchup
Dillon Brooks is spending his summer with the Canadian national team in the FIBA World Cup. From the look of things, Team Canada is going to make some noise. Brooks notched 12 points and four rebounds on 5-of-6 shooting in their opening-round victory over France.
Brooks was able to get a head start on training for the World Cup when the No. 2-seed Grizzlies were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers only needed six games to send the grit n' grind squad packing. The outcome wasn't particularly shocking, but Brooks was the subject of vast criticism after making a few cocky remarks about his matchup with LeBron James during the series.
"He's old," Brooks told ESPN's Tim MacMahon. "I poke bears. I don't respect someone until he gives me 40."
Well, that didn't sit well with most folks, who found Brooks' arrogance especially damning once the Lakers delivered the finishing blow in Game 6. James averaged 22.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists on .486/.195/.677 splits across the series. Certainly not the King's most productive six-game stretch, but he still captained the winning offense for a Lakers team that never felt truly at risk of defeat.
In a recent interview with Arash Madani of Sportsnet, Brooks refused to back down from his previous statements: "I feel like I always had [LeBron]. I feel like that series was thrown upon me cause of the words that I say, but I’ve been saying things all year and we won 50 games."
Brooks is a gifted defender and you need a certain measure of self-confidence to achieve what Brooks achieves on that end, but James has earned the respect of his peers and there is a long track record of players who smack talk LeBron later regretting it.
Brooks called LeBron old and then his team got thoroughly beaten. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. The series was thrown on him because he invited it (and didn't exactly show out on offense, either).