I’ve been a basketball fan for much of my life, and I have never heard an instance of a team, saying that a player will not be back “under any circumstances.” If you watched the 40-point Game 6 elimination beatdown the Los Angeles Lakers gave the Memphis Grizzlies last week, it was a foregone conclusion that guard Dillon Brooks would not be back with the team. That’s because he’s a pending free agent, and one would figure he and the Grizzles would go their separate ways by means of osmosis. However, the team wanted to make it extremely clear that Brooks would never be brought back, as noted by The Athletic.
With that news, I briefly ran through some circumstances that could happen, and the Grizzles would elect to forfeit rather than call Brooks. Here are some.
- 11 of the 15 players on the roster could get sick. No call.
- 11 of the 15 players on the roster get caught up in travel troubles. Not even a text.
- 11 of the 15 players decide to load manage. Nothing.
It’s not that Brooks didn’t go out in a blaze of glory. After Game 2, he called LeBron James “old” and “tired,” then promptly skipped media availability after Game 4 and 6 losses which netted him a $25,000 fine. We can’t forget the shot to James’ groin area that landed Brooks an ejection from Game 3. There is also the question of his play on the court – shooting 31.2% from the field and 23.8% from 3.
The problem is that Brooks tried to play the central villain role when he was one of those Batman villains that starts the film, but gets apprehended as the credits go by. A great NBA villain has a go-to power they can exert over you. Dennis Rodman was a rebound machine. Ask the Knicks about Reggie Miller and how his three-point shooting used to terrorize them at the Garden. At least with Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors, there’s a leadership and defensive component. Brooks was a -23 in his last game as a Grizzly.
Although they were the 2nd seed in the Western Conference, the Grizzlies found out they were “not good in the West.” It's not like the team doesn’t have talented pieces – Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Desmond Bane form a promising core. They can use a couple of veteran players for composure's sake, but today, we know one player will not be part of that equation. Maybe you shouldn’t go around poking bears after all.