Brooks called the 38-year-old James “old,” an interesting shot to take against arguably the greatest player in NBA history.
“I don’t care he’s old. … I don’t respect no one till they come and give me 40.”
– Dillon Brooks on LeBron James 🍿 pic.twitter.com/oddzgkVsQg
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) April 20, 2023
“I don’t care he’s old,” Brooks said of getting into it with James. “I was waiting for that. I was expecting him to do that Game 4, Game 5. He wanted to say something when I got my fourth foul. He should’ve been saying that earlier on. I poke bears. I don’t respect no one ’til they come and give me 40.”
That’s quite the statement from Brooks, as he’s challenging the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and a four-time NBA Finals MVP with that statement.
NBA fans have seen James respond to trash talk before, especially in the 2016 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
Klay Thompson claimed that James had gotten his “feelings hurt,” early on in the series, and James proceeded to laugh that off and lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA title after being down 3-1 in the series.
Brooks seems to be going down a similar path with this series only tied at one game apiece.
James still had a strong showing against Brooks on Wednesday night, scoring 28 points on 12-of-23 shooting from the field. He added 12 rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block in the game.
The only knock on James on Wednesday was his shooting from beyond the arc, as the 19-time All-Star was just 1-for-8 from distance.
Brooks was limited to less than 25 minutes due to foul trouble, but he finished with 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting in the Grizzlies’ win.
While the Lakers would have loved to have won Wednesday’s game, especially since Grizzlies All-Star guard Ja Morant sat out with a hand injury, they did their job by stealing a game in Memphis early in the series.
Now, Los Angeles has to turn its focus to Game 3 of this series on Saturday, April 22.
Lakers fans can expect James and company to come out strong with the home crowd cheering them on, and James may have a little extra something in the tank after Brooks decided to call him out following Game 2.
Since Brooks said he will only give people respect if they give him 40, it’s worth noting that James has 28 40-point games in his postseason career.