After Dillon Brooks took out Gary Payton II with a blow to the head, Warriors coach Steve Kerr called out Brooks saying he “broke the code” of putting another player’s health and career at risk.
Saturday night, Ja Morant was forced to leave Game 3 with a tweaked knee following contact with Jordan Poole. Later that night, Ja Morant tweeted “broke the code” along with a video of the contact but deleted it soon after. Of course, the Internet never forgets.
Ja after having to leave Game 3 with an apparent knee injury. pic.twitter.com/qG4QHBja2r
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 8, 2022
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said he was curious how the league would respond to the incident in the wake of Brooks’ suspension.
Poole defended himself saying he was reaching to go for a steal and accidentally caught Poole’s knee, but there was no intent.
Jordan Poole: “It was a basketball play. I hit the ball (the first swipe). I was going for the ball. … I’m not even that type of player.”
— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) May 8, 2022
Steph: “It’s not a joking matter that Ja’s hurt. But all the rest of it is total BS” pic.twitter.com/MiX3ow1C8R
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 8, 2022
The league will review Poole’s actions, but this was not on the level of Brook’s foul on Payton — there was not a wind-up and there was not a blow to the head. While it is possible the league upgrades this to a Flagrant 1 and fines Poole, this was not suspension worthy. Then again, the way the league hands down fines/suspensions is as predictable as a roulette wheel. It’s all chance.
Morant left the building showing a limp, but he also left under his own power and without crutches or any large brace. That’s a good sign this does not turn out to be serious.
— Jared Greenberg (@JaredSGreenberg) May 8, 2022
Expect in Game 4 for the Grizzlies to get back to the physical basketball style that won them Game 2.