If Dillon Brooks is playing in the NBA next season, it will not be in a Memphis Grizzlies jersey.
The organization has reportedly informed the 27-year-old that he would not be brought back to the team “under any circumstances.”
Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news on Tuesday afternoon (May 2), saying the Grizzlies made the decision during Brooks’ exit meetings with team officials. They told him that they believe “it’s best for both sides to have a fresh start.”
Brooks was a pending unrestricted free agent and there was much discussion around his future, especially during their playoff series with the Los Angeles Lakers.
During that series, Brooks called LeBron James “old” and said he doesn’t respect people until they score 40 points on him following the Grizzlies’ Game 2 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. The Grizzlies forward was also ejected in Game 3 for hitting King James in his groin. From Game 3 onward, he refused to speak to the media after games and was fined $25,000. The Grizzlies went on to lose the series Friday (April 28), with a 40-point rout in Game 6.
The final straw may have come when Dillon Brooks told the media, following the series, that he did not regret anything he said to LeBron James. “I’m a competitor,” Brooks said. “I compete. I don’t think it got LeBron geeked up. He’s back in the playoffs, it’s been a little while so I think he was ready to play.”
Damichael Cole, a local beat reporter in Memphis, reported that Brooks was seeking a bigger role within the team’s offense. “I was just there to three-and-D, shoot and play defense. I got way more to my game than that,” he stated.
Now, the Canadian hooper finds himself seeking a new home for the first time in his career. Brooks was drafted by the Houston Rockets in 2017 and immediately traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, where he worked his way into a starting role by 2020.