This past summer the Memphis Grizzlies opted to undergo some serious rotational adjustments in an effort to better position themselves for a title run in 2023-24.
Easily their most publicized offseason maneuver was their decision to part ways with long-tenured wing Dillon Brooks who, following a highly inefficient offensive campaign along with his "bear poking" shenanigans during the postseason, was branded by the front office as someone that would not be returning to the team "under any circumstances," as first reported by The Athletic's Shams Charania.
As a result, GM Zach Kleiman and company opted to ship out the veteran via sign-and-trade, sending him to the Houston Rockets.
While initially deemed as a beneficial move for the franchise that helped them dodge a proverbial bullet considering the lucrative $80 million payday he received, through nearly a month of play the Grizzlies have found themselves struggling mightily to simply compete within the Western Conference while the Rockets, on the other hand, are currently flourishing.
During a recent interview in the days leading up to his November 22 revenge game against his former employers, Brooks suggested that his absence may have something to do with their lackluster start to the year.
Dillon Brooks dishes on Grizzlies ahead of Wednesday's revenge game
"You can see now they have no swagger,” Brooks said of the Grizzlies. "We have swagger. We have an identity we’re building. Each and every game, we show it more and more. That’s what I want for my guys. That’s what I want for each and every guy on the floor: to play their best basketball."- Dillon Brooks
This is by no means the first instance where Brooks has talked down upon the Grizzlies since his departure back in July, as he's gone on record claiming the franchise cast a significant part of the blame for their first-round playoff demise upon his shoulders, stating they made him "the scapegoat of it all."
Amid a boiling hot start to his tenure in Space City, the 27-year-old is posting impressive averages of 13.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game while boasting career highs in both field goal and three-point percentage at 50.8 and 50.0 percent, respectively.
Along with his individual successes, the Rockets are currently producing like one of the hottest teams in the association, as they've won six of their last nine outings and reside in the eighth seed out west with a record of 6-6.
The Brooks-less Grizzlies are tied for the second-worst record in the association at just 3-10.