We need to talk about Dillon “The Villain” Brooks.
The NBA has always been more fun when there are heels involved. Some heels are specific to just one city. For example, ask any Sacramento Kings fan how they feel about Big Shot Bob.
While some legendary NBA villains are heels toward every single team in the NBA. Sometimes, even their own team.
There are rules to being an NBA villain. It’s not just about being hate-able. If it was, I might consider my fellow Oregon Duck, Dillon Brooks, a legitimate league outlaw.
But in order to be considered a league-wide heel, you have to be someone who puts butts in the seats for the sole purpose of being your hater. Say what you want about Patrick Beverly, but there are about 5 cities in America where a season ticket holder is making sure they hold on to their Chicago Bulls ticket just so they can shout Russell Westbrook’s now famous “Pat Bev tricked y’all” line at the more-often-than-not despised defensive specialist.
Nobody is going to a Grizzlies game to see Dillon Brooks.
If you want to be a legitimate NBA villain, you need to be good at something. Literally anything. It could be rebounding like Dennis Rodman. Or clutch three point shooting like Reggie Miller.
What specifically is Dillon Brooks good at?
He can’t shoot. He scores in bunches sometimes, but it’s never efficient. He had the eighth-worst field goal percentage in the entire league this year among qualified players.
He jacks up the second most threes per game on the Grizzlies, but isn’t in the top 10 on this year’s roster in three point percentage.
I’ve heard people call him a defensive specialist, but statistically he’s not top five on the Grizzlies in either steals, or blocks. And if you believe in advanced stats like Defensive Box Plus/Minus, or Victory Over Replacement, the stats say the Grizzlies are actually better when Brooks isn’t on the court.
So not only is no one paying to see Dillon Brooks, he’s not particularly special at anything.
In fact, you can make almost a million dollars betting the price of a Starbucks latte on Brooks to have a decent game tonight against the Lakers.
Maybe he can justify his villain status through the third criteria- can he hold your attention?
We know he can get attention. Anybody can be ridiculous enough to make you look. Dillon Brooks can do that by coming to the stadium dressed as Stone Cold Steve Austin, or by pushing a camera man down for no reason. Or by popping a second player this season in the groin. But a real villain is someone whose mere presence on the court has you distracted.
Bruce Bowen hardly ever said a word, but when he was with the Spurs, you always had to keep one eye on him at all times. Watching Ron Artest get ready to check in at the scorers table would be enough to make the hair on your arms stand up.
But Dillon Brooks? He’ll goose you, but he’s not giving anyone goosebumps. The man’s just cringeworthy. He’s like if the Scott’s Tots episode of The Office made an NBA roster.
You might be listening to this and thinking, “what’s up with the Oregon on Oregon hate?”
First of all, I don’t hate Dillon Brooks. That’s actually the point of this rant- that Dillon Brooks isn’t even good at trying to get people to hate him.
And second, Dillon Brooks was the 2017 Pac-12 Player of the Year. He had one of the greatest flops in basketball history. I wanted big things for Dillon Brooks.
But he can’t shoot even though he never stops shooting. He doesn’t rebound. He doesn’t pass. He can’t defend. And he keeps aggressively touching men where no man needs to be aggressively touched… at least not during a basketball game.
None of that is fun of good or even compelling.
And now, all eyes are on Dillon Brooks because he decided that he wanted to measure his worth against LeBron James. Saying publicly that he doesn’t respect LeBron because LeBron has never dropped 40 on him.
Well, Dillon Brooks has never dropped 40 on anyone. And maybe that’s why it seems like he doesn’t respect himself enough to play the game the right way, and instead has decided to cosplay as an NBA villain.
You’re not the bad guy. You’re just bad.
Let that sink in.