MEMPHIS — Draymond Green disappointed Dillon Brooks on Thursday night.
After they swapped barbs via the media, with Green responding to Brooks’ recent criticism of him with a scorching segment on his podcast Wednesday, Brooks looked forward to continuing the conversation face to face when the Memphis Grizzlies played host to the Golden State Warriors. An opportunity presented itself when Brooks stole the ball and drove for a layup over Green late in the second quarter before they bumped chests.
At the time, Green said nothing.
“I kind of wanted that play, just to see what he was going to say,” Brooks said after the short-handed Grizzlies’ 131-110 win at FedExForum. “But he took the media approach with that and didn’t say nothing, which is cool. I was expecting him to talk a little bit more, but I guess he needs to get all his facts together and talk.”
After the game, Green shrugged off questions about Brooks other than accusing Brooks of unsuccessfully attempting to bait him into a technical foul, which would have been Green’s 16th of the season, resulting in a one-game suspension.
“He thought he would like bait me, like he gets baited,” Green said. “I get technical fouls when I want to get technical fouls. I don’t get baited into technical fouls. So, I think that’s probably the difference between me and him. If I do that to him, it’d be a double tech, because he’d respond. But it’s not a double tech, because I didn’t respond. One of us are baitable, one of us aren’t.”
Green made a point to scoff at the suggestion that the Grizzlies and Warriors had developed a rivalry. In his mind, Memphis hasn’t accomplished enough as a franchise to merit rival status with Golden State, which eliminated the Grizzlies in the Western Conference semifinals last season.
“One team has to win, and then another team has to win,” Green said. “That’s what creates a rivalry. Not because one team gets up for you and talk like they can beat you and then not. That doesn’t create a rivalry. Rivalries are created by you win, I win. Clearly, we’ve won four times, and I think their organization has zero championships, so I can’t consider that a rivalry.”
A lopsided loss March 9 is irrelevant to the conversation, as far as Green is concerned.
“Anybody can win in March,” Green said. “Anybody can win in March. What that mean? I have a hard time getting out of my bed in March. What’s a game in March mean?”
The Grizzlies have had the distinction of ending a Warriors season, defeating Golden State on the road in the second play-in game in 2021.
“They don’t ever forget. When they won the championship, they were talking about us,” Brooks said. “They don’t ever forget who the Memphis Grizzlies are. They get up and they can’t wait to play us.”
Brooks, who had 14 points and six assists and was the primary defender on Stephen Curry in the win, said Green is “making it a rivalry” by talking so much.
Brooks also accused Green of “just using my name to get his podcast up. He should at least say thank you.”
Brooks said his teammates showed him the video clip from Green’s podcast, when Green responded sentence by sentence to Brooks’ quote about why he doesn’t like Green from an interview with ESPN’s Tim Keown that was published last week. Brooks sneered while discussing Green’s implication that his Memphis teammates don’t like him and that the Grizzlies can’t win a title with him.
“There was some funny stuff,” Brooks said. “I’m not a championship player. I feel like my stuff that I said was facts, and we’ll see at the end of the year what they do with him.”
Brooks, however, insisted that Green’s podcast performance didn’t bother him.
“No, because I know I’m a better player than him,” Brooks said. “I can do the same stuff that he does. That’s easy. That’s just showing up to work. Me, I try to score. I try to figure out plays. I try to call out plays for my team. Just the fact that he was trying to pin my teammates against me, that was a low blow. So that’s what type of player he is.
“These are my guys. We grew it all together. I ain’t out there getting in physical altercations with my teammates. I sit there and talk to them, try to not break them down, but build them up.”