Stephen A defends Klay for trash talking Grizzlies' Brooks

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The Warriors' beef with the Grizzlies rose to new heights Saturday night in Memphis, this time with Klay Thompson taking center stage alongside outspoken forward Dillon Brooks.

And in the eyes of ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, Thompson had every right to remind Brooks of his four championship rings and tear down Brooks' legacy.

"I will come to the defense of Klay Thompson in this regard," Smith said Monday on "First Take." "Yeah, you've got to go out there and play. You've got to respect the fact that a cat like Dillon Brooks does not care about your rings. They're coming for you, and you don't get to live off of what you did.

"But in the same breath, you are a four-time champion. You did go to Memphis on a couple of occasions to win those four championships. And when you are a four-time champion and somebody's chirping at you that's never won a championship, that does kind of get on your nerves. It could get on your nerves."

Just over a week after Golden State veteran Draymond Green and Brooks exchanged barbs both on and off the court, Thompson counted out his four NBA championships to Brooks at FedExForum on Saturday.

Then, after the Warriors lost their 11th straight road game and Brooks said he owns "real estate" in Golden State's heads, Thompson told The Commercial Appeal's Evan Barnes no one will remember Brooks when all is said and done.

"I don't care about Dillon Brooks," Thompson told Barnes on Saturday. "When he retires, I don't think anyone will ever talk about Dillon Brooks again. I promise you. It's sweet right now, but wait 10 years."

RELATED: Brooks ironically wanted to model Draymond's game at Oregon

Smith's comments on "First Take" came after fellow analyst Kendrick Perkins said the Warriors -- and Thompson, specifically -- have looked more petty than the Grizzlies in recent weeks.

While Smith didn't disagree with Perkins' assessment, it's clear he believes Thompson had every right to go after Brooks regardless.

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