NBA playoffs: Grizzlies' Dillon Brooks blames media, fans for making him a villain

It's been a rough go for Memphis Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks. The 27-year-old attempted to "poke the bear" in Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, but ended up just getting himself ejected with a flagrant two foul for hitting James in the groin during Game 3 of the teams' first-round playoff series.

Brooks declined to comment directly after his exit, but told reporters during his Sunday post-practice availability that they are part of the reason he was assessed a flagrant two foul.

“The media making me a villain, the fans making me a villain, that just creates another persona on me,” Brooks said, per ESPN's Tim MacMahon.

If the ejection wasn't enough, the internet had a great time laughing at Brooks' expense after he exited the game with 7 points on 3-of-13 shooting. James put up 25 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists in the Lakers' 111-101 win and dismissed Brooks' very loud Game 2 trash talk.

Dillon Brooks of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts to a Grizzlies foul during the first quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Three of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at Arena on April 22, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Dillon Brooks of the Memphis Grizzlies is pointing the finger at media and fans for making him the villain. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, the NBA suspended Golden State Warriors veteran Draymond Green one game for stomping on Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis in Game 2 of their first-round series. While the league said it considered Green's "history of unsportsmanlike conduct" in the decision, it didn't see the need to do so in Brooks' case.

Still, Brooks seems to feel he is being negatively impacted by an undeserved bad rap.

The league leader for regular season technical fouls (18), Brooks was 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, he was fined $35,000 for shoving a photographer.

The behavior can be tracked to last postseason, when Brooks was suspended one game following his flagrant two foul on Warriors guard Gary Payton II in the Western Conference semifinals. Brooks swiped his arm across Payton's head on a transition layup. Payton, who took a hard fall, was diagnosed with a fractured left elbow.

Those facts seem to paint a picture on their own, but it's never too late to change the narrative.