LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James declined to be drawn into a war of words with Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks on Friday as he prepared for game three of the teams’ NBA playoff series.
“The game is won in between the four lines,” James said at a media availability on Friday when asked about Brooks’s brash remarks after the Grizzlies tied the series at 1-1 with a game-two win.
“Always has (been), always will be.”
Brooks, 27, drew James into a verbal back and fourth during game two in Memphis on Wednesday, and was unrepentant afterward at taking on the 38-year-old four-time champion.
“I don’t care — he’s old,” Brooks said of the NBA’s all-time scoring leader. “I poke bears.”
James briskly deflected several questions about Brooks’s comments before ending his media session at the team’s training facility.
“I don’t want to talk much more,” he said. “I’m not here for the bullshit. I’m ready to play.”
James and the Lakers grabbed the first game of the series on the second-seeded Grizzlies’ home floor before a disappointing game-two defeat against a Memphis team missing injured star Ja Morant.
He said the Lakers can’t afford to focus on any one player — be it a mouthy Brooks or a missing Morant — as they try to regain momentum on their home court.
“At the end of the day, there’s 10 guys on the floor,” James said. “There’s 10 guys on the floor. They’re one of the best defensive teams in the league and we have to respect that.
“No matter who is out in a Grizzlies uniform during that particular time, during that quarter, during that minute, we’ve got to respect everybody and we’ve got to execute offensively.”
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