Taylor Jenkins Says Grizzlies 'Furthest Thing from Dirty' After Steve Kerr's Comments

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 6, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 23: Head coach Taylor Jenkins of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first quarter of the game during Game Four of the Western Conference First Round at Target Center on April 23, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated the Grizzlies 119-118 to tie the series 2-2. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
David Berding/Getty Images

Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins believes an unfair narrative has developed since Dillon Brooks' hard foul on the Golden State Warriors' Gary Payton II in Game 2 of the teams' second-round playoff series on Tuesday.

"I look at my locker room and I look at our culture and what we exude, we're the furthest thing from dirty," Jenkins told reporters Thursday. "We're competitive, so I want that to be squashed pretty quick here."

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr called Brooks' play "dirty" and said it "broke the code" in the aftermath of Tuesday's game, but he made no reference to the Grizzlies as a whole. Jenkins was also asked about the foul in question following Thursday's practice.

"It's a tough play," Jenkins said. "We obviously wish Gary Payton II a speedy and healthy recovery. It's very unfortunate what happened there."

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Dillon Brooks ejected after this hard foul on GPII 😳 <a href="https://t.co/SOPdOJFXow">pic.twitter.com/SOPdOJFXow</a>

The Memphis-Golden State series has opened with a heavily physical tone. The Dubs' Draymond Green was ejected from Game 1 following a flagrant-2 foul on Brandon Clarke.

Brooks' ejection from Game 2 was followed by an additional one-game suspension from the NBA, which will cause him to miss Saturday's Game 3. Payton is expected to miss around a month with an elbow injury suffered on the play, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

A total of 87 fouls have been called through the first two contests of the series, which is tied at one game apiece as it shifts to the Warriors' Chase Center in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, Kerr continued to express frustration toward Brooks when asked Thursday how Golden State would handle the physicality.

"Just play hard, battle for every loose ball. Battle for every rebound. Compete every possession," Kerr said, before adding: "And, you know, don't risk a guy's career if he's ahead of the play in transition. That's our mantra."

Those remarks will likely only add to the already-high tensions between the sides.

Game 3 is scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. ET tipoff Saturday on ABC.