Stephen A. Smith: Dillon Brooks should be suspended for Gary Payton II foul

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Stephen A. believes Brooks should be suspended for GP2 foul originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Dillon Brooks’ hard foul on Warriors’ guard Gary Payton II during Game 2 of the second round on Tuesday earned him a Flagrant 2 foul and an ejection, but some -- including ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith -- believe the NBA should go one step further.

Brooks should be suspended for the “dirty play,” Smith told 95.7 The Game on Wednesday. The foul fractured Payton’s left elbow, and The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that he will miss at least three weeks.

Smith clarified that Brooks’ resume and history indicate that he isn’t a dirty player, but that the foul was egregious enough to warrant a suspension.

“Look at the swipe he took,” Smith said. “It was at the head of Gary Payton, while he was elevated and off his feet. So he came down and ultimately fractured his elbow because of it. How could you not be mindful of the potential damage that you could’ve done?”

The ESPN NBA analyst agreed with Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s comments that Brooks “broke the code” on the play, and that the injury was a blow to Payton’s career after the journeyman had worked so hard to find a spot in the Warriors’ rotation.

Instead of preparing to stop Ja Morant in Game 3 and continuing to soak in the playoff limelight, Payton would be fortunate to see any action in the remainder of the playoffs.

“You’re supposed to be mindful of making sure that you don’t cause injury to a player, thereby jeopardizing his money and his career,” Smith said. “It’s not an accident that Steve Kerr brought up the fact that Gary Payton had been working his tail off all these years to get to this level in his career, and that you should automatically understand that you should be mindful of that when it comes to potentially doing bodily harm to a player.”

When asked if the Warriors should have retaliated on the court, Smith said the best retaliation would have been to win the game. Despite losing Payton and having Draymond Green take an elbow to the eye, the Warriors had the lead down the stretch. But both Steph Curry and Klay Thompson had relatively quiet games, missing shots in the final minutes as the Warriors couldn’t close out the Grizzlies for a 2-0 series lead.

“You’re in position to win this game,” Smith said. “If Steph and Klay had buried a couple of shots, you close the deal. The fact of the matter is you were still in position to win and that would've been the best revenge of all. I don’t believe the Golden State Warriors need to go out of character in order to win. I just think they need to make shots.”

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Kerr also confirmed later on Wednesday to 95.7 The Game that the Warriors are not going to seek to retaliate for Brooks’ foul.

Whether or not the NBA decides to suspend Brooks for putting Payton’s playoffs in jeopardy and potentially altering the series remains to be seen. But it appears that the Warriors agree with Smith and will let their play do the talking.

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