Dillon Brooks gave Skip Bayless another chance to take a jab at the referees, as he was ejected in Game 2 of the playoffs series between Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies. Just 2:52 into the game, Brooks was ejected for a hard swipe at Gary Payton II’s head on a layup attempt. Brooks was struck with a flagrant foul 2, which includes an automatic ejection, while Payton was lost for the rest of the game with a left-elbow injury owing to his hard fall.
Without one of Warrior’s defensive catalysts, Ja Morant exploded with 47 points for Memphis on the way to tying the series at 1-1, heading to San Francisco. Succeeding the Grizzlies 106-101 win over the Warriors in Game 2, Steve Kerr announced Payton II suffered a fractured left elbow following the Brooks foul. Payton II will undergo an MRI when the Warriors return to Bay Area on Wednesday to determine the extent of his elbow injury.
Gary Payton II has been monumental for the warriors this season as he dropped 15 points in Game 5 to ice the Denver Nuggets. Payton II earned back-to-back starts alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in the Memphis series. After earning the final roster spot before the start of the season, Payton II turned into a fan favorite as one of the top stories of the 2021-22 campaign. Payton II has consistently provided a spark in Golden State’s rotation with gritty defense and powerful slam dunks at the rim. Steve Kerr will have to rack his brains in order to replace Payton II’s work ethic and athleticism for the series ahead.
“Dillon Brooks ejected !? Is this some kind of a joke!”
Skip Bayless is definitely not a fan of the referees in this series, as he took to Twitter to convey his perplexity at the Dillon Brooks ejection. He called it a ‘joke’ and sarcastically asked if this was a makeup call for the Draymond Green ejection, which as you might have guessed, he was not a fan of. Not only did Brooks swipe Payton’s head making him lose momentum in mid air, but he also kicked his right leg out towards Payton’s legs which would also result in losing momentum in mid air.
The Warrior’s coach Steve Kerr was furious at the Grizzlies owing to Gary Payton’s injury. Moments later, Green took an inadvertent elbow to the right side of his face from Xavier Tillman, forcing him to leave the game and requiring stitches. He was able to return to start the second quarter. Kerr later described the Grizzlies first-quarter approach as “dirty, not physical” and lashed at Brooks for “breaking the code” amongst NBA professionals.
“There’s a code in this league that players follow where you never put a guy’s season or career in jeopardy by taking somebody out in mid-air and clubbing him across the head and ultimately fracturing Gary’s elbow,” Kerr said. “Dillon Brooks broke the code. That’s how I see it.”
Skip Bayless responded to these comments by saying calling the Warrior’s ‘soft’. “Steve Kerr just called the Grizzlies dirty. I call the Warriors soft. I’m sorry Gary Payton II’s elbow is hurt. But that didn’t happen because of a “dirty play.”
With neither side backing down when the pressure rises , the resulting frustration has collected in some aggressive fouls and plays. Agreed, the ejections suffered by Dillon Brooks and Draymond Green seem a bit out of place. In both cases, neither player had recorded personal fouls prior to their ejection, nor had they played enough to see frustration build up.