MEMPHIS, TN — The Memphis Grizzlies informed pending unrestricted free agent Dillon Brooks on Tuesday, May 2, that they will not bring him back to the team under any circumstances. This decision comes after a tumultuous post-season and several in-game altercations between Brooks and Lebron James. NBA Insider Shams Charania first Tweeted the decision on Tuesday.
The Grizzlies told Brooks their decision to move on from him in exit meetings with team officials during the past few days. Per the Athletic, Memphis, and Brooks discussed in exit meetings that it’s best for both sides to have a fresh start.
The first-round series loss to the Los Angeles Lakers seemed to be the breaking point for the Grizzlies regarding Brooks. In the span of six games, Brooks called Lebron James (4-time NBA Champion and widely considered one of the greatest of all time) "old," "tired," and "not as good as he used to be." After those comments, he also earned an ejection in Game 3 when he punched James in the groin.
He continually missed assignments on Lebron in crucial moments and was so abysmal on offense that Lebron stopped guarding him at the three-point line completely, daring him to shoot. James stayed off the line when Brooks had to ball to help defend against Ja Morant. Finally, Brooks refused to talk to the media after three losses, garnering him a $25,000 fine from the NBA.
The 27-year-old, second-round pick out of Oregon averaged 10.5 points a game, 31.2 percent from the field, and a dreadful 21 percent from three-point range. Memphis initially offered contract extensions early in the season, but Brooks rejected all these offers leading to the end of negotiations.
While Brooks's career might not be over in the NBA, it’s safe to say that his conduct and poor showings do not help his chances of landing on an active NBA roster. Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neil even joked on NBA on TNT that Brooks would play overseas next season before the series against the Lakers reached its conclusion.