Dillon Brooks blames ‘terrible’ officiating crew for letting LeBron James-Ime Udoka exchange get out of hand

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

On Monday, Houston Rockets wing Dillon Brooks blamed the officiating crew from Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers for letting the exchange between Lakers superstar LeBron James and Rockets head coach Ime Udoka get out of hand.

Brooks believes that the officials “lost control of the game.”

Udoka received his second technical foul during the exchange, leading to him being ejected from the game.

While James jokingly said that he and Udoka were talking about Thanksgiving during their exchange, the two seemingly had a much different conversation in reality.

James appeared to warn Udoka not to use the “b—- word” so loosely.

“We all grown men,” James appeared to say. “That b—- word ain’t cool, don’t use it so loosely. Don’t use that word so loosely. Nah, don’t use it so loosely, though. Don’t use it so loosely.”

James and the Lakers ended up getting the last laugh on Saturday, as they beat the Rockets 107-97 to move to 12-9 on the season.

The four-time NBA champion had 16 points, four rebounds and seven assists for Los Angeles. Anthony Davis (27 points) and Austin Reaves (18 points) led the way in the scoring column for the Lakers.

Brooks certainly didn’t hold back about the officials, and it seems like he thinks the exchange – or at least the Udoka ejection – could have been avoided on Saturday.

During the game, Brooks had 10 points, two rebounds and one assist. A strong defender, Brooks helped the Rockets deal with James.

The Lakers and Rockets have already played three times this season, with the home team winning all three matchups. Los Angeles is 2-1 against Houston this season.

There is one more remaining matchup between the teams – on Jan. 29 in Houston – in the 2023-24 regular season.

Hopefully, there won’t be any bad blood between Udoka and James when that game comes around. It seems like Saturday’s incident boiled over a little in the heat of competition, and that could be a reason why Brooks feels like it didn’t need to happen.

For now, the Lakers and James are turning their focus to the NBA’s In-Season Tournament, as they take on the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.