Dillon Brooks will return to the court for the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night for the first time after serving his suspension after injuring Gary Payton II earlier this series.
Though he said ahead of Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinals series on Monday night that he regretted what happened with Payton — who sustained a fractured elbow in the Game 2 incident — he is moving on.
trying to chase down Payton early in the first quarter of Game 2 of the series in Memphis. As Payton went up for a layup, Brooks flew in from behind trying to contest the shot but instead drilled Payton’s head in mid-air.
That sent Payton crashing down to the court, where he landed awkwardly on his fully-extended left arm.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) May 4, 2022
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was one of several who were outraged after the play. He called it “dirty” during the game in an interview on TNT, and then slammed Brooks after the game.
"I don't know if it was intentional, but it was dirty," Kerr . "Playoff basketball is supposed to be physical. Everybody's going to compete. Everybody's going to fight for everything, but there's a code in this league. There's a code that players follow, where you never put a guy's season/career in jeopardy by taking somebody out in mid-air and clubbing him across the head and ultimately fracturing Gary's elbow ... He broke the code. Dillon broke the code. That's how I see it."
As for how he felt about Kerr’s comments, Brooks said he had “no reaction.”
"I was trying to make a play on the ball. And he was running full speed, I jumped and he adjusted."