Former Memphis Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks came into the 2023 FIBA World Cup with a rather large chip on his shoulder after his fallout and unceremonious exit from Grind City this summer.
Going on record saying “the hate doesn’t stop and it keeps going,” the 27-year-old acknowledged that participating in the tournament for his home country Canada was “just a great feeling,” and these emotions were only strengthened by his tremendous showing in the bronze medal round to close out the festivities.
Team Canada bested Brooks’ ex-Grizzlies teammate Jaren Jackson Jr. and Team USA in the third-place bout by a final score of 127-118, while the wing dropped a game-high 39 points to go along with five assists and four rebounds.
Since the finale, rumblings have started to surface suggesting United States-born NBA superstars such as LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Jayson Tatum (among others) are now “ready to commit” to representing their country during next summer’s Olympic games in Paris, France.
During a recent segment on his personal YouTube show “The Stephen A. Smith Show,” host Stephen A. Smith suggested that a big reason for these aforementioned names’ interest in taking to the international stage in 2024 is to make up for the lackluster showing the USA put forth during the World Cup, and believes Brooks’ production, in particular, is a major catalyst for this.
Stephen A. Smith seemingly throws shade at ex-Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks
“[Team USA] fell to Canada. Team Canada was led by Dillon Brooks of the Memphis Grizzlies. The same Dillon Brooks that couldn’t do anything right in the first round of the playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers. That brother dropped 39 points…and was named the tournament’s best defensive player by FIBA,” Smith said. “Ladies and gentlemen, there’s no need to wonder why LeBron James, according to reports, has suddenly acknowledged he would like to participate in the 2024 Olympics in Paris…LeBron ain’t having that.”
Smith would continue on by tossing more shade Brooks’ way by simultaneously giving more credence to track star Noah Lyles’s recent “world champion of what” claims, stating: “[Lyles] looks smarter today than he did a couple weeks ago because when Dillon Brooks, who signed with the Houston Rockets this offseason is staring for your team, dropping 39 points and being named the best defensive player in the tournament…that’s enough to get LeBron James’ antennas up.”
Brooks played in eight games for Team Canada during the tournament and posted impressive averages of 15.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals while shooting 59.4 percent from the field and an astonishing 58.8 percent from deep.
Along with superstars such as James, rumors suggest that Team USA could also have an interest in adding current Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks to their squad next year, who missed out on this summer’s World Cup as a result of offseason surgery.