Why it's time to let go of all Dillon Brooks hatred

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers
Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Much of the discourse surrounding Houston Rockets forward Dillon Brooks centers around outdated narratives. We've heard about him being a distraction and an inefficient scorer, an assessment based on his stint with the Memphis Grizzlies. 

But I've got some land to sell you in Idaho if you subscribe to the theory that Brooks was the problem in Memphis. That's been made clear without him. 

People seem to enjoy pointing out the things that Brooks doesn't do well. For example, a chunk of the dialogue has been about the 27-year-old's inability to be the focal point on offense, even though that's not his player archetype.

Many focus on Brooks' histrionics. You know, staring down opponents before games and calling players trash throughout games?

It's what landed the Oregon alum seventh on Fadeaway World's list of the most hated players on Twitter (or X). The ranking was compiled with a machine-learning evaluation tool that doled out an anger quotient to each post on the social media app.

All in all, over 400,000 posts were determined to have been aimed at either active players or NBA franchises. 

The following blurb was devoted to the Houston Rockets forward.

"Dillon Brooks of the Houston Rockets is known for his aggressive play and trash-talking, which has earned him a number of enemies in the NBA. His public remarks about LeBron James being old, among other comments, have drawn intense criticism for being disrespectful."

Rockets forward Dillon Brooks deserves better.

Yes, Brooks isn't innocent in any of this. He's certainly played a role. He enjoys being the antagonist, as deacribed here.

It's why he calls himself "Dillon the Villain". He pokes bears and challenges the game's greatest players.

But should that overshadow the fact that he's been an elite defender for a Rockets team that ranks second in defensive efficiency? Or the fact that he's been one of the most efficient players on the roster (58.2 percent true shooting- second amongst starters on the team and 39.4 percent from deep)?

Or how about the fact that he hasn't had any issue understanding and fitting in to his role as the fringe fourth/fifth role on offense, which was believed to have been the issue with the Grizzlies?

The problem with this line of thinking is that the players tell a different tale. Take LeBron James, for example, who has been one of Brooks' biggest enemies.

“Every player that is rewarded with a contract is rewarded for a reason,” James said, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “In his (Brooks) case, he was worthy of the contract that he got. He's put in the work since he came out of Oregon.”

Or how about Brooks' former teammates in Memphis, who have showered him with love after facing him and losing to his Rockets team twice this season?

The media's negativity towards Brooks seems forced. And if you hate a player who has reversed the narratives surrounding him and gotten paid, you're more of the issue than an NBA player who has a chip on his shoulder.