Draymond Green And Dillon Brooks Are The Most Annoying People In Sports
9:03 AM EST on March 10, 2023
If Dillon Brooks isn't the most annoying person in the NBA, it is only because Draymond Green hasn't retired yet. Brooks and Green combined for 30 points in 65 minutes in Thursday night's Warriors-Grizzlies tilt, but because they are each so incredibly annoying, and because they are determined to out-annoy each other, their personal rivalry managed to be the story of the game. That's the Dennis Rodman Zone, the absolute maximum level of annoyance attainable by an NBA player, when despite being goofy and largely marginal to the putting of a basketball into a hoop, you somehow become a game's central character. Put two of these players onto the court at the same time and the combined annoying levels will overwhelm all instruments of measurement.
Kevin Harlan's call of this play, which ended with Brooks and Green in a very strange embrace—"Oh and they're talking! They're discussing the podcast!"—is very good. Draymond Green has a podcast, and he recently used some podcast time to come back at Brooks for some comments Brooks made to Tim Keown for a big March 3 ESPN profile about how Brooks enjoys being a villain character in the NBA. Brooks told Keown, "I don't like Draymond at all," and then suggested, clumsily and incorrectly, that NBA fans only know about Draymond Green because he's been affixed to the coattails of superstar teammates in Golden State. Green, on his March 8 podcast episode, went line by line through Brooks's quote, at one point ticking off his entire basketball résumé. The meat of Green's criticism of Brooks is that Brooks hasn't accomplished much individually, his team hasn't accomplished much beyond regular-season success, and Brooks might not even matter all that much to Memphis's hopes of building a championship contender.
If your lasting impressions of the Grizzlies and Warriors were formed when those teams were, you know, good, then the teams that took the court for Thursday night's nationally televised game were basically unrecognizable. Memphis is without Brandon Clarke and Steven Adams due to major injuries, and is without superstar Ja Morant while Morant serves an indefinite non-suspension following a string of reports of erratic off-court behavior. Golden State is basically healthy apart from the indefinite absence of Andrew Wiggins due to hazy "personal reasons," but the Warriors have some of the worst on-court vibes in the entire NBA as they continue to grapple with the challenges of establishing a future core in the minor roles available in the orbit of their current one. The basketball these two teams played Thursday night was not often very pretty.
But it was certainly chippy! Brooks, for one, absolutely refuses to shut up. There is something revolting and unacceptable about an oaf like Brooks, whose delusions of offensive utility are not much more than tolerated by his teammates, talking shit to Stephen actual Curry, a sublimely skilled and infinitely bonafide superstar, on a basketball court. Brooks scored 14 points on 15 shots and made just one of seven three-point attempts—he is not a good offensive player, dammit!—but it must be said that the creep can defend:
It would be very satisfying to watch someone dunk on Brooks hard enough to send him screaming into the Earth's core. Unfortunately the person for the job is not the increasingly earthbound Draymond Green, who rim-checked himself on a third-quarter dunk attempt and only attempted nine shots in 30-plus minutes Thursday. A major problem for the Golden State Warriors at the tail-end of this miserable regular season is they have maybe three players on their roster who are capable of jumping high enough to dunk a basketball with two hands, and at least two of those players are too dazed and demoralized to hold down regular rotation jobs. Even without some of their most impressive athletes, the Grizzlies easily overwhelmed the sloppy and flustered Road Worriers, and in the fourth quarter cruised away for a comfortable double-digit win. Naturally, Brooks had a lot to say about this, both on the court and in the post-game locker room:
Brooks was particularly annoyed that Green used his podcast to hint that Brooks might not be very popular among his teammates in Memphis, and that the Grizzlies might be better off without him. It must be said that this a funny line of attack coming from Green, who sucker-punched his teammate during the preseason and then made a mini-documentary about it.
Is this a rivalry? Green, annoying to the last, insists that it is not. "One team has to win, and then another team has to win. That's what creates a rivalry," he explained from the, ah, from the loser's locker room. "Clearly we've won four times, and I think their organization has zero championships, so I can't consider that a rivalry. Anybody can win in March. What's that mean? I have a hard time getting out of my bed in March. What's a game in March mean?"
I'll tell you what it means: It means I have to watch Dillon damn Brooks strutting and gloating, and listen to Draymond Green be extremely not-mad about it! It's annoying, is what it is!
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