Dillon Brooks on flagrantly fouling Gary Payton II: ‘I jumped, and he adjusted’

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Plenty of statements were made after Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks injured Warriors guard Gary Payton II with a flagrant foul on a fastbreak.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr said Brooks broke the code. Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said his team is the furthest thing from dirty. The NBA suspended Brooks one game.

But we’d yet to hear from the primary actor.

Now, Brooks is explaining himself.

Jason Dumas of KRON4 News:

Brooks

I didn’t mean for it to injure somebody. If I were take it back in that moment, I would. But it’s in the past.

Tried to make a play on the ball and was running full speed, and I jumped, and he adjusted.

It’s a fast-paced game. Stuff happens. Guys jump up in the air, and guys can contest shots, and, sometimes, the way the play is, it falls, and you fall down, and he tried to brace his fall with his arm. It’s a tough play. Like I said before, I would take it back if I would. But I can’t take it back.

I do believe, with time to gather and consider his thoughts, Books doesn’t want to injure anyone. But in the moment, clubbing an airborne Payton in the head from behind, Brooks looked at least like someone who didn’t care about injuring Payton – maybe worse. Watching the play, it’s hard to see “I jumped, and he adjusted” as an accurate description.

Ultimately, it matters most what Brooks did in the heat of the moment. He took a dirty shot.

Brooks on Kerr’s broke-the-code comments:

No reaction. I don’t even really know what that means. It’s the playoffs. Every bucket, every basket, every possession, every play counts. So, I did not understand what he meant by that.

It’s clear what Kerr meant: Brooks was reckless, elevating the risk of injuring someone beyond what’s deemed accepted by NBA players.

There’s nothing wrong with playing hard. But this wasn’t a simple case of a high-effort play gone awry.

While there’s room to debate just how far Brooks went over the line, Golden State fans certainly won’t show him benefit of the doubt in Game 4 tonight in San Francisco .

Brooks:

I like being booed. I like guys against me. It’s gets me going even more.