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Dillon Brooks Believes He’s Being Targeted And Victimized For Punching People In The Balls

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 02: Dillon Brooks #9 of the Houston Rockets poses for a photo during media day on October 02, 2023 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

There are many ways to defend a pick-and-roll. The person on the ballhandler must first choose to go over or under the screen, depending on how worried they are about a pull-up jumper, while the roll-man's defender has to take the correct angle, shut off the driving lane, or either recover to their original assignment or fully switch and accept whatever mismatch the offense is going for. Both defenders have to decide fast and act in tandem, which is why the pick-and-roll remains an essential weapon of modern offense all these decades later. And new innovations still abound! On Tuesday, less than five minutes into his Houston Rockets preseason debut, Dillon Brooks showed an inventive way to neutralize the power of the screener, in this case Daniel Theis: rain hellfire down upon his crotch.

This is a perfect way for Brooks to introduce himself to Rockets fans, many of whom are probably wondering why their team forked over a $86 million contract to the former Grizzly. What skills does he bring to the table? Why did the team that drafted him and started him for 22 playoff games go out of their way to declare, days after getting bounced out of the playoffs, that Brooks would not be coming back "under any circumstances"? The answers to both of these questions are the same: he's a real heel who is pathologically incapable of chilling out for one second. Recall if you will how Brooks was ejected in the 2022 playoffs for breaking Gary Payton II's elbow, or how he bopped Donovan Mitchell in the junk last February, or how the whole league told him to please shut the fuck up last March, or how he responded to that call by talking wild shit to LeBron James before also hitting him in the balls—this is like challenging the ocean to a fistfight—and then got so humiliated he fled the scene.

Dick-punching is just sort of what Brooks does, or at least, it's the neatest single-play encapsulation of his skillset. He genuinely is a very good on-ball (on-balls?) defender, and his intensity both helps him lock down dribblers while also consistently putting him in situations where he is given a line to cross. Brooks's problem is that he will always cross that line. Brooks was asked about the sack-tap after the game, and he didn't try to pretend like he didn't hit Theis. "I tried to navigate a screen," Brooks said. "I might have tapped him below the waist, but he got right back up. I don't know. It's weird that every time it happens to me, I get picked on. I guess it's part of reputation."

Maybe you can only keep putting yourself in these sorts of situations if you conceive of yourself as the victim, and though it seems logically impossible to do so, Brooks has found a way. "What's the name? What's my name? My name is Dillon the Villain, so I guess," he responded. "For a Flagrant 2 foul like that, you got to know if a person is doing it on purpose or intention. That's really going at who I am as a person. That ref, Mitch, that just shows that he just doesn't know who I am as a person. He's just going off what's been said."

Shut up man, you hit a guy in the dick and balls.

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