LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during the 3rd quarter of the game against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on October 18, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images


  • LeBron James and Dillon Brooks have had testy interactions throughout the playoffs
  • James and Brooks' viral conversation prior to Game 3 has been deciphered
  • Brooks has struggled thus far, while James continues to excel

The 2023 NBA Playoffs have provided a ton of excitement for basketball fans all over the world as the stars have come out to play, but there is one series that has taken hold of everyone's attention.

In the Western Conference, the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers is out to silence their critics by eliminating the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the first round.

At the center of it all is the heated and slightly personal rivalry between LeBron James and Dillon Brooks.

Brooks has been unafraid to poke the bear as he told the media after the Grizzlies won Game 2 that he "don't respect no one 'til they come and give me 40" while also calling the Lakers superstar "old".

Prior to the Lakers taking the 2-1 series lead in Game 3, a video of James and Brooks having a conversation has since gone viral and an alleged professional lip reader on YouTube deciphered the grainy footage.

"Just to let you know, you cause too many problems. Your crazy [explicit] is doing nothing but fooling around. You know nothing. You ain't ready for me. Make some shots. Do your job," James told Brooks.

Outside of a decent showing in Game 2, Brooks has been having himself a terrible series thus far across the board, logging 15 points in Game 1 (38.5% from the field), seven points in Game 3 (23.1%) and 11 points (36.4%) in their Game 4 overtime thriller.

Put all together, Brooks is only averaging 11.3 points while shooting 33.3 percent from the field with a dismal 22.2% beyond the arc.

Such numbers are down from his regular season numbers of 14.3 points on 39.6% field goal shooting and 32.6 from beyond the arc.

While it speaks highly of how well the Lakers have prevented him from being an effective contributor, it is more so a case of Brooks simply being unable to shoot the ball regardless of whether there is a defender in his face.

The pesky defender has not been able to prevent James from putting up big numbers of his own though as highlighted by his 20-point, 20-rebound, 5-assist performance to give Los Angeles the 3-1 lead in Game 4.

For additional context, James leads the Lakers in scoring (24) and rebounds (13) per game through 38.6 minutes of action and has proven to be the bane of the Grizzlies hopes of a deep playoff run.

With Memphis finding themselves on the brink of elimination, Game 5 on their home floor at the FedEx Forum on Wednesday, April 26 will determine whether they live to fight another day or the Lakers continue their surprising late-season push.

Dillon Brooks of Memphis celebrates a three-point shot in the Grizzlies NBA win over the Milwaukee Bucks
Dillon Brooks of Memphis celebrates a three-point shot in the Grizzlies NBA win over the Milwaukee Bucks GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / POOL