LeBron James and the Lakers are gearing up for a pivotal Game 3 in the first-round playoff series against the Grizzlies. But the four-time NBA champion seems to want to let his game do the talking when he takes the court on Saturday.
One thing James seems to have no interest in is Dillon Brooks’ recent trash talk.
«I’m not here for the bulls —,» James said after practice Friday when asked about Brooks’ recent comments. «I’m ready to play and that’s it.» James then abruptly ended his media session.
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During the early parts of the Lakers superstar’s media availability, he appeared to dodge any questions related to Brooks.
The series is tied 1-1 after the Grizzlies defeated the Lakers in Game 2 earlier this week. After Memphis’ 103-93 win, Brooks decided to open up about his thoughts on playing James.
«I don’t care, it’s old. You know what I mean?» Brooks said Wednesday. «I was waiting for that. I was hoping he would make that Game 4, Game 5. I wanted to say something when I got fouled four times. I should have said it earlier. But I hit bears. I don’t.» Don’t respect anybody until they come and give me 40.»
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James said he wasn’t aware of Brooks’s comments until a reporter brought it up. James, 38, was also asked if an opponent’s trash talk had previously affected the outcome of any playoff series in which he had been involved.
«The game is won between the four lines,» James said. «Always has been, always will be».
Historically, James has the head-to-head advantage over Brooks when it comes to wins. James’ teams are 10-3 against Brooks in his career. James is averaging 24.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in the first two playoff games.
Rui Hachimura, whom the Lakers acquired in a January trade, was not immediately met by Brooks’s comments.
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«I heard about it,» Hachimura said on Friday. «I don’t really like social media, but I’ve heard about it. Honestly, that’s all they can do. They’re a young team. They just want to talk. We just don’t care. We’re going to play our game and we’re trying to win the games. «.
After receiving no votes for NBA’s best player in an ESPN poll of unarmed scouts and executives, James began jokingly referring to himself as the «Washed King» in social media posts.
James did not mention Brooks by name when speaking to reporters.
«I mean, at the end of the day, there are 10 guys on the court,» James said. “There are 10 guys on the field. They are one of the best defensive teams in the league and we have to respect that.
«It doesn’t matter who is in the Grizzlies uniform during that particular moment, during that quarter, during that minute, we have to respect everyone and we have to execute offensively.»
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Lakers head coach Darvin Ham expressed confidence that James could block out the noise as the series shifts to Los Angeles.
«LeBron needs to go out there and do what he’s always done,» Ham said. «He’s just playing the right way. Everything else will take care of itself.»