Dillon Brooks has quickly established himself through his young career as one of the great "heels" in the NBA. For those who are unfamiliar, "heel" is a term that derives from professional wrestling.
It’s a descriptor for an athlete who is purposefully playing a role that is meant to be hated by the audience, by way of performing unethical actions, taking cheap shots, and/or playing villain to the media and viewers.
Brooks has become one of the great villains for the NBA in this era, joined by other colorful antagonists such as Draymond Green, Patrick Beverly, and Trae Young.
Unfortunately for Brooks, it’s become more and more frequent that his speeches and antics outshine his actual play. A truly great heel doesn’t just antagonize others the heroes of the game with his words, on and off of the court, but he also pushes buttons with his performance in the actual sport.
When Dillon Brooks is clicking, he can enrage even the greatest players who have graced an NBA court and entire franchises without saying a single word.
Despite being in the news cycle for his words more than his play, Brooks is undeniably an effective on-ball perimeter defender. He’s got the frame and agility necessary to chase down speedy guards and bother the larger, bully-ball wings of this era.
He’s capable of effectively shutting down an opponent’s primary offensive option almost singlehandedly when he’s fully engaged.
The issue is on the offensive end of the court. At his best, Brooks is a complementary scorer who’s able to hit the occasional tough shot. it’s especially infuriating to opposing fanbases and teams when he can come up with a big-time clutch shot.
While he’s not an efficient scorer by any means, he can hit difficult attempts that most other role players don’t even dream of taking.
Oftentimes, though, Brooks’s confidence overshadows his actual abilities. On those nights, he winds up with a 3-14 shooting performance and shoots his Memphis Grizzlies out of the game.
This very scenario played out to perfection in Game 3 against the Lakers, shortly after he publicly called out LeBron James. It all came to a head when Brooks was ejected for a Flagrant 2 foul after he took a cheap shot to James’s most sensitive region.
Surprisingly, Brooks was not suspended for Game 4. While that would normally be a disappointment for Lakers fans, many are hoping that he’ll negatively impact the Grizzlies the same way he did in their last matchup.
LeBron James and Dillon Brooks exchanging words pregame before Grizzlies-Lakers Game 3 🍿 pic.twitter.com/9kmUoTyUhF
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 23, 2023
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| Title: Will Dillon Brooks cost the Memphis Grizzlies their first-round series?
| Author: Andy Quach
| Date: Apr 21, 2023