MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Dillon Brooks exchanged words with LeBron James during the third quarter of the Memphis Grizzlies' series-tying 103-93 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Wednesday's Game 2 and had plenty more to say about the NBA's all-time leading scorer postgame.
The confrontation occurred after the Grizzlies called a timeout with 8:06 remaining in the third, following two baskets by James to cut the Lakers' deficit to 14 points. Brooks, who has earned a reputation as one of the league's elite wing defenders and most relentless antagonists, said James told him he was "dumb" for having picked up his fourth foul and barked back at him.
"I don't care -- he's old. You know what I mean?" Brooks said of the 38-year-old James. "I was waiting for that. I was expecting him to do that Game 4, Game 5. He wanted to say something when I got my fourth foul. He should have been saying that earlier on. But I poke bears. I don't respect no one until they come and give me 40."
James, who had 28 points on 12-of-23 shooting and 12 rebounds in the loss, had finished his postgame media session before Brooks' began.
James' teams have won 10 of 13 games when he has faced Brooks in his career, but James' high-scoring total in those games is 34 points. James has averaged 25.2 points on 52.2% shooting in the 11 regular-season games.
Brooks, who had 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting and was limited to 23 minutes because of foul trouble, felt like James initiating trash talk was an indication that he was frustrated. Brooks, 27, added that he hopes James wants to talk again in Game 3 and as the Western Conference first-round series progresses.
"I said, 'Oh, finally you want to talk,'" Brooks said, wearing a plaid jacket with no shirt underneath, a chain with a large "DB" medallion and his customary designer sunglasses as he addressed reporters in the FedExForum home locker room. "Then we started to get into a conversation. I just let him know that, 'You can't take me one-on-one. You haven't.' You go look at the film; he doesn't really take me one-on-one until that moment.
"Then when he got subbed out, he was tired. So I did my job."
"I don't care -- he's old. You know what I mean? I was waiting for that. I was expecting him to do that Game 4, Game 5. He wanted to say something when I got my fourth foul. He should have been saying that earlier on. But I poke bears. I don't respect no one until they come and give me 40." Grizzlies' Dillon Brooks on Lakers' LeBron James
James, who has averaged 24.5 points on 51.3% shooting in the series, has gone 7-of-14 from the floor with Brooks as his primary defender in the two games, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Brooks acknowledged James is "a legend" but quickly added that he considers James "just another basketball player" when competing against him. Brooks also made a point to note that James, whose résumé includes four championships, four MVPs and 19 All-Star appearances, is past his prime.
"He's not at the same level that he was when he was on Cleveland winning championships, Miami," Brooks said of James, who averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists this season. "I wish I got to see that. It would have been a harder task, but I'm playing with what I've got. Just wear and tear on him throughout a seven-game series and see if he can take it. See if he wants to play the one-on-one battle or if he wants to be out on the sidelines shooting the basketball."
Brooks believes he can wear down James over the course of the series despite the 6-foot-9, 250-pound superstar's significant size advantage. Brooks, who is 6-foot-7 and 225 pounds, said giving James "little bumps here and there just to get him tired" is part of his strategy and noted that he needs to avoid fouling the Lakers' role players.
"Use those fouls for LeBron and [Anthony Davis] and the guys when I'm guarding, especially when the refs want to call the ticky-tack stuff," Brooks said. "We've been watching the playoffs, and stuff's hard-nosed. They're finding ways to bring back that regular-season stuff. I ain't for that. I'm here for the playoffs, so hopefully they get that under control."