Brooks addresses ‘dirty' foul on GP2: ‘Didn't mean to hurt' him


After causing a controversial injury to Gary Payton II in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals and serving a one-game suspension, Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks broke his silence on Monday. 

Speaking to reporters ahead of the Grizzlies’ Game 4 matchup with the Warriors at Chase Center, Brooks said he didn’t mean to hurt Payton as a result of the Flagrant 2 foul at FedExForum last week.

The play saw Brooks deliver a blow to the back of Payton’s head as the Golden State guard attempted a layup, forcing him to the court floor and breaking his left elbow.  

As a result of the collision, Payton was ruled out for the remainder of the series with no timetable for his return, though the Warriors announced on Thursday he would be reevaluated in two weeks. Brooks, on the other hand, was ejected from the game and suspended by the NBA for Game 3, which the Warriors won in dominant fashion.

Before his return to the series Monday night, Brooks said he hasn’t spoken to Payton following the devastating injury that left the Warriors guard “crushed,” or anyone else from Golden State, for that matter.

In comments following Game 2, Warriors coach Steve Kerr called the play by Brooks “dirty,” and stated the Grizzlies guard “broke the code” by colliding with a defenseless Payton mid-air.

While Brooks said he would take the foul back if he could, he called it a “tough play" and said it came during a fast-paced game. He also stated he wasn’t sure what Kerr meant by his comments about code, noting every play counts in the NBA playoffs.

The Warriors head into Game 4 with a 2-1 series lead and will look to return to Memphis for Game 5 with a major advantage, should Monday’s matchup fall in their favor.

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Brooks will certainly be eager to get back on the court in what is close to a must-win game for the Grizzlies, but Dub Nation might not be as thrilled to welcome him to Chase Center after recent events.

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