Dillon Brooks issues questionable statement on Grizzlies departure

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers
Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

Wednesday night, Dillon Brooks will be squaring off against his former employers, the Memphis Grizzlies, for the first time since his departure from the franchise this past offseason.

Far from a harmonious breakup, following a rather inefficient 2022-23 regular season and an incredibly polarizing and semi-cringe-worthy playoff run, the, then, impending free agent was branded as someone who would not be returning "under any circumstances," and, ultimately, was sign-and-traded to the Houston Rockets in early July.

Though their decision was initially viewed as a move that could aid in the team's pursuit of a championship run, especially considering the negative impact re-signing him would have had on their salary cap situation what with his lofty new $80 million payday, through about a month of action the Grizzlies have looked far different from their recent two consecutive 50+ win teams, as they are currently tied for the second-worst record in the entire league through 13 games played at 3-10.

Though there are many factors that have played a role in this unfortunate start to the year, during a recent interview with the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen, Brooks subtly suggested that his absence should also be viewed as a reason for their lowly production.

Dillon Brooks hints his absences is a cause for Grizzlies 3-10 start

"It’s like the girlfriend that you used to have. You don’t know how good she is until she’s gone.

Dillon Brooks on leaving Grizzlies

Since his final season with the Grizzlies came to an end, Brooks has seemingly been on a redemption tour in an effort to boost his perceived status as a player, which is something he suggested has been impacted by being used as a "scapegoat" for the team's shortcomings.

It seemed to start with his tremendous play during this past summer's FIBA World Cup while suiting up for Team Canada and has rolled on over into his first season with the Rockets, as he finds himself producing at career-high efficiency rates in the shooting department (50.8 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from distance) while posting impressive all-around averages of 13.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.

Brooks also went on to state in his interview that the Grizzlies "have no swagger" now that he's no longer there, while suggesting his new squad oozes with it and shows it "more and more" with every passing game.

Whether one agrees with his sentiment or not, it's inarguable that Memphis has struggled mightily during these infancy stages of their post-Brooks era while the wing's new club currently sports the eighth-best record in the Western Conference and is heading into Wednesday's bout having won six of their last nine games.

However, despite what he may say, the level of impact he has had on either of these two turnouts thus far, especially the former, is certainly something that's up for debate.