During the third quarter of the Lakers vs. Grizzlies game on January 5th, 2021, Dillon Brooks was ejected for hitting LeBron James in the groin area. The incident occurred with a little over seven minutes left in the third quarter as LeBron was driving to the basket. Brooks appeared to swing his arm and hit LeBron in the groin, causing the Lakers star to fall to the court in pain.
The referees reviewed the play and ultimately decided to eject Brooks from the game for a Flagrant Foul 2. Brooks had been having a solid game for the Grizzlies up until that point, scoring 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting in just 20 minutes of play. However, his ejection left the Grizzlies without one of their key players and the Lakers were able to pull away with a 108-94 victory.
After the game, LeBron expressed his frustration with the hit, saying “it’s just disrespectful, and it’s not why we play the game. We’re not protecting the league, we’re not protecting the players. It’s more about personal gain for everyone in the league.”
This incident is just one example of the ongoing issue of players resorting to dirty tactics during games. The NBA has become increasingly reliant on instant replay and ejections for players who cross the line, but it’s clear that more needs to be done to address this issue. The league should consider more severe punishments for players who engage in dirty play, such as multiple game suspensions or fines.
In the end, the Lakers were able to cruise to victory against the Grizzlies, but the incident between Brooks and LeBron should serve as a reminder for players to keep their emotions in check and play the game with respect for their opponents. It’s up to the NBA to create a culture of sportsmanship and fair play if we want the league to continue to thrive for years to come.