Wednesday, May 31 2023

LeBron James was asked at Lakers practice Friday if he had any response to Dillon Brooks’ recent trash talk.

James simply shook his head, adding, “No.”

James made it clear that this is all beneath his consciousness. He all but declined to engage, despite being asked five questions pertaining to Brooks or his views on trash talk.

“The game is won in between the four lines,” James said. “Always has, always will be.”

After jawing with James during the Memphis Grizzlies‘ 103-93 win over the Lakers on Wednesday to even the series at 1-1, Brooks was asked to weigh in on people who would say it was disrespectful for him to do that against a legend.

“I don’t care, he’s old,” Brooks said. “… I poke bears. I don’t respect no one until they come and give me 40 [points].”

Dillon Brooks calls LeBron “old” after Grizzlies defeat Lakers in Game 2

Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe react to the Lakers’ loss and Dillon Brooks’ antics.

Brooks made it clear that no one is above reproach from his trash talk, even a four-time champion and four-time MVP who is widely considered one of the greatest player of all-time.


Meanwhile, James made something else clear: None of this is even worth his time. 

When asked if a player should be of a certain caliber to engage in trash talk, or if there are rules regarding trash-talking a legend, James said, “There are no rules.”

When asked it’s a learned skill to not worry about trash talk, he reiterated, “The game has always been won in between the lines.”

Eventually, after speaking for 4 1/2 minutes, James cut off his own presser. 

“I don’t want to talk much more.” he said. “Tomorrow is going to be a great game. I’m not here for the bullshit. I’m ready to play and that’s it. All right? Appreciate it.”

So far this series, James is averaging 24.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4 assists. And against Brooks, James has thrived, shooting 61.1% from the field, according to 

Brooks, of course, has a history of being an agitator, calling out, chirping at or getting in the faces of a long list of stars around the league, including Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green

But you have to wonder if Brooks poked the wrong bear.

Brooks was the 45th overall pick in the 2017 draft and has never even made an All-Star or an All-NBA team. James is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer who has a record-tying 19 All-Star appearances and a record-leading 18 All-NBA selections. 

James could have a lot to say here if he wanted to go down that path. 

But he seems to be saving his response for Game 3 on Saturday, which is perhaps the scariest possible outcome for the Grizzlies.

Melissa Rohlin is an NBA writer for FOX Sports. She previously covered the league for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Times, the Bay Area News Group and the San Antonio Express-News. Follow her on Twitter @melissarohlin.

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