Brooks wants Klay matchup with Steph out for Grizz-Dubs showdown


The 2022 Western Conference semifinals between the Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies went a contentious six games. And even though the series happened over seven months ago, the beef apparently still remains.

When Grizzlies star Dillon Brooks was asked about Steph Curry’s absence from the teams’ upcoming Christmas Day rematch at Chase Center, he made it clear he still remembers some of the trash talk that took place in the spring.

“[It pisses me off] a little bit. I hope [Curry] plays, though,” Brooks said Thursday of Curry missing the matchup as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

“But I got Klay [Thompson]. I like that matchup a little better because he was talking a little smack before when we lost.”

Brooks made headlines during the West semifinals when Warriors coach Steve Kerr called him out for breaking “the code” -- a result of Brooks’ Flagrant 2 foul on Gary Payton II, which broke the then-Golden State guard’s elbow.

When Brooks was booed by the Warriors’ home crowd in Game 4 after serving a one-game suspension for the foul, Thompson said, “Good job, Dub Nation” after the contest.

Then, during the series’ decisive Game 6, Brooks received a Flagrant 1 foul for pushing Curry in the back. Thompson immediately rushed to his Splash Brother’s defense, getting in Brooks’ face after the foul.

It’s safe to say things got … intense. And when Brooks said after the series that the Grizzlies would be “coming” for the Warriors, Thompson took it upon himself to continue the smack talk after Golden State won the 2022 NBA Finals with a shot at Memphis big man Jaren Jackson Jr.

“Strength in numbers is alive and well,” Thompson told reporters after the win. “There was this one player on the Grizzlies who tweeted ‘Strength in numbers’ after they beat us in the regular season, and it pissed me off so much. I can’t wait to retweet that thing. Freakin’ bum. I had to watch that. I’m like, ‘This freakin’ clown.’

"Sorry, that memory just popped up. Gonna mock us? You ain’t ever been there before. We’ve been there before, we know what it takes. So to be here again, hold that.”

A lot of words have been exchanged since then, too, like Grizzlies phenom Ja Morant and Warriors veteran Draymond Green speaking the West semifinals Christmas rematch into existence. Both stars insist there is no Grizzlies-Warriors rivalry, either.

And while not all of the back-and-forths have been quite as confrontational as what was said during the NBA playoffs, Brooks is more than ready to face Thompson -- and everyone on the Warriors -- again.

“I’ll just show him what type of defense I got, you know what I mean?” Brooks said. “Next man up. So, whoever I got next, or whoever I got on the Warriors, whoever suits up, I’m ready to go, ready to play.

“Because I don’t only watch one guy. I watch everybody, three or at least four guys that I’m potentially going to guard. But I hope [Curry] gets healthy, for sure.”

RELATED: Warriors offer Wiggins injury update ahead of clash vs. 76ers

Dub Nation already expected a good game between these two Western Conference teams. But as postseason memories linger for both sides, it’s certainly a matchup that can’t be missed -- even without Curry.

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