Cavs' JB Bickerstaff on Dillon Brooks Scuffle: 'We Don't Have Guys Who Start S--t'February 3, 2023
The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 128-113 on Thursday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, and it was quite the fiery matchup as both Donovan Mitchell and Dillon Brooks were ejected in the second half following a brawl.
After the win, Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff addressed the incident, claiming that Mitchell and his team did not start the altercation.
"We don't have guys who start s--t and we don't have guys who run from s--t," Bickerstaff told reporters.
About midway through the third quarter, Brooks had a layup blocked before being knocked to the ground. As Brooks tried to get up, his hand swung around and caught Mitchell in the groin.
Mitchell took exception to the hit and threw the basketball at Brooks before a brawl ensued under the basket. The players were eventually separated by coaches and referees, and both Mitchell and Brooks were tossed.
Mitchell also addressed the altercation after the game, accusing him of being a dirty player.
"Yeah, for sure," Mitchell said when asked if he felt Brooks took a cheap shot at him. "That's just who he is. We've seen it a bunch in this league with him. Him and I have had our personal battles for years. Quite frankly I've been busting his ass for years. Playoffs, regular season. In the one game he does all right on me, he decides to do something like that. There's no place for that in the game."
Brooks has gotten into a number of altercations with other players around the league, including Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard.
In Game 2 of Memphis' semifinal playoff series against the Warriors in May 2022, Brooks was ejected for a flagrant foul 2 that fractured the elbow of Gary Payton II. It was then announced he would be suspended for Game 3.
Brooks also received a flagrant 1 foul in Game 6 of that series for shoving Curry.
In an April 2021 matchup between the Grizzlies and Trail Blazers, Lillard appeared to take exception to Brooks appearing to grab his elbow while he was driving to the basket for a layup. The two exchanged words, and no shoving ensued.
Brooks has been in the NBA since being selected in the second round of the 2017 draft. The three-and-D specialist has been a staple in the Grizzlies' lineup, and while he's tenacious and energetic, sometimes he appears to go too far.
The Cavaliers will be back in action on Sunday against the Indiana Pacers, while the Grizzlies will host the Toronto Raptors.