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Stephen A. Smith says Dillon Brooks could cost Grizzlies shot at NBA title: 'Ja Morant deserves better'

Dillon Brooks was a popular topic on Friday morning talk shows a day after he hit Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell in the groin era. Mitchell reacted by throwing a basketball at Brooks, and both players were separated and eventually ejected.

Mitchell called for the NBA to take further action against Brooks, but popular ESPN P\personality and "First Take" host Stephen A. Smith went in a different direction. After Smith said he has noticed a slippage on defense from Brooks this season, he took a bigger picture view at how he believes Brooks' play could affect the long-term goals of Memphis.

"Dillon Brooks, you and the way you have been playing, and the fact you haven't been what we're accustomed to seeing you do is costing Memphis potentially a chance at the title," Smith said on ESPN's First Take.

Brooks is averaging 15.3 points on 39.5% shooting this season. The field-goal percentage is a career low, and the points are Brooks' lowest since his second season in the NBA.

Now in his sixth season, Brooks is the longest-tenured Grizzlies player, and teammates have called him the "heart and soul" of the team. While Smith said that Brooks' defense is slipping, the Grizzlies veteran has had strong performances against Western Conference All-Stars like LeBron James, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Zion Williamson.

"Rather than be physical and get into fights, step your game up, bro, and start balling the way we know you are capable of doing," Smith said. "Because Ja Morant deserves better, Taylor Jenkins deserves better, those teammates of yours deserve better. They doing their job. You need to do yours."

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Other sports personalities chime in on Brooks

Smith was far from the only TV sports personality to have a stance on Brooks.

Shannon Sharpe, who notably had a confrontation with Brooks two weeks ago, called for Brooks to be suspended "a minimum of three games." He mentioned Brooks' hard foul on Gary Payton II last season that led to a one-game suspension in the Western Conference Semifinals, a trip against D'Angelo Russell and a Brooks screen on Anthony Edwards that had the Minnesota Timberwolves star hobbling as examples of plays where Brooks showed malicious intent.

"I mean, come on, bruh," Sharpe said. "That was totally unnecessary."

On the ESPN morning show "Get Up," Vince Carter and Mike Greenberg gave their takes on what Greenberg described as "a flat-out dirty play."

"I'm sure he'll get suspended one, if not two games," Carter said. "That's blatant. He didn't hide that."

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Stephen A. Smith, Shannon Sharpe on Dillon Brooks-Donovan Mitchell