LOS ANGELES — Dillon Brooks, public enemy No. 1 in Los Angeles right now, was jeered off the court by gleeful Lakers fans when he was ejected in the third quarter after hitting LeBron James in the groin.
Brooks made a reckless attempt at a steal as LeBron crossed the ball behind his back, and Brooks caught LeBron cleanly in the one place no man wants to get hit. LeBron went to the ground in pain and was there for a minute while the referees reviewed the play. Ultimately they gave Brooks a Flagrant 2 and he was ejected.
Dillon Brooks was ejected after receiving a flagrant 2 for this hit to LeBron. pic.twitter.com/LL9CLRAryy
— ESPN (@espn) April 23, 2023
Lakers fans loudly cheered Brooks’ exit as he left the court.
Based on the NBA’s reaction to other recent hits to that region — by Draymond Green, Joel Embiid and James Harden — don’t expect a suspension for Brooks (despite his history). While Brooks has a history of these things — he was suspended back in February for a shot to Donovan Mitchell’s groin — he didn’t aggravate the situation by running around and hyping up the opposing crowd like a wrestling heel, as Green did. Brooks also did not speak to the media after the game.
Brooks had a rough night up to that point. The Lakers’ game plan was to dare Brooks to shoot and he did, going 3-of-13. His rough shooting (and plenty of his teammates) was why the Grizzlies were down by as many as 29 in the first half.
Memphis came back to make the final score respectable (111-101), but hope at a comeback was not aided by one of the Grizzlies’ best defenders — the guy with the LeBron James assignment — getting sent to the locker room with almost half a game to go.