Things got heated in the second round between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Golden State Warriors.
Game 1 of the series saw Draymond Green being sent off for a flagrant foul on Brandon Clarke.
In Game 2, it was Memphis’ turn to be ejected when Dillon Brooks was ejected for a hard foul on Gary Payton II, a decision that resulted in Payton being sidelined for the following weeks.
Due to the severity of this foul, some people have started calling the Grizzlies a dirty team.
The Grizzlies don’t.
“We’re the furthest thing from dirt, we’re competitive.”
— Taylor Jenkins on the narrative that the Grizzlies are “dirty”
— Athletics (@TheAthletic) May 5, 2022
Head coach Taylor Jenkins rejects the idea that his team is “dirty”.
While wishing Payton a speedy recovery, Jenkins also dismissed the concept that his team was being too aggressive.
“We are the furthest thing from dirt. We are competitive,” Jenkins said.
That statement won’t stop claims that Memphis is dirty, especially from Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.
Break the code
After the hard foul against Payton, Kerr rebelled against Brooks.
He was the first person to use the word “dirty”, then later said that Brooks “broke the code” and put Payton in danger.
Green also spoke about the foul and cheered when Brooks was suspended.
The Grizzlies aren’t generally known as a “dirty” team – or even a very physical one.
But they increased it in the playoffs, a sign of how badly they want to prove themselves in the playoffs.
There’s a lot of serious fighting on this Memphis team and they’re going to push themselves – and their opponents – as hard as they can.
However, that’s no excuse for the foul against Payton.