Things did not end well for the Memphis Grizzlies last season, the West's No. 2 seed was out in the first round at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers. Many factors went into that — Ja Morant’s first suspension proving a distraction was where the wheels started to come off — but Dillon Brooks became the scapegoat. His poking the bear with LeBron James — while LeBron shot 61% in that series while covered by Brooks — helped the Grizzlies decide it was time to move on from Brooks (who still got a four-year, $86 million contract from the Houston Rockets).
Things are going much better for Brooks with Team Canada this summer — 10.4 points per game, shooting 53.8% from 3, playing elite wing defense, and coming up clutch in helping Canada through to the quarterfinals at the World Cup plus qualifying for the Paris Olympics.
— FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 (@FIBAWC) September 3, 2023
Brooks feels rejuvenated by his time with Team Canada, he told Antonis Stroggylakis of Eurohoops.net.
"Coming off a tough year with my old squad [the Memphis Grizzies] it was great having a refresh with Canadian blood," Brooks said. "Guys who believe in me. Guys who trust in me. It was great to win this game in a great fashion."
Grizzlies fans would argue the team and the fanbase believed in him and trusted him until he let them down one too many times.
Brooks will take his rejuvenated talent this season to Houston, a team looking to make a leap forward with their young talent maturing plus the addition of Brooks and Fred VanVleet. How much of a leap remains to be seen, maybe not as much as Rockets ownership hopes, but a leap.
Brooks got his payday, and Team Canada may prove the start to winning some fans back over.