By: Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson
Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks has been in the forefront of everything controversial over the last week after he was ejected in Game 3 of Memphis’ NBA Playoffs matchup against the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers.
While it is likely that he will be available for Game 4 after striking James below the belt and being issued a Flagrant 2 foul which resulted in an ejection on Saturday night, it’s still a constant focus of dialogue with everyone including former NBA players who have been in his position.
Add Metta Sandiford-Artest as one of them.
A man of many names and distinctions, Lakers fans are keenly aware of RonArtest, now named Metta Sandiford-Artest and formerly known as Metta World Peace for a time.
The 4 time NBA all-defensive team member is known for his on the court and off the court controversies as much as he’s remembered for his game. A member of LA’s 2010 NBA Championship team alongside Kobe Bryant, he’s been keeping up with all that is Brooks, LeBron and their first round matchup.
Million Dollar Question: Was Brooks’ punch intentional?
“I’m riding with LeBron because I’m a big LeBron fan so let’s just start there,” Sandiford-Artest told me by phone.
“But I feel like that I don’t think that he meant to hit him in the nuts but I did think that he was overaggressive you know? I want to be cautious with my words because I’ve been through the same stuff, you know what I’m sayin? But, I think that he was aggressive and I think sometimes when you’re overaggressive, you really can’t control how your body moves. Your arm might swing another way by mistake but since you know you’re not really in control, you might pop somebody in the head by mistake. But it looked like it was on purpose because of how it looked so it’s stuff like that it’s like, Man! If you could just keep your head in the game…”
He’s more than qualified to speak on this issue.
In the eyes of many, during his NBA career. Sandiford-Artest was once the poster child for everything wrong with the NBA and their controversies, literally.
He once clotheslined J.J. Barea in the NBA Playoffs, he elbowed Manu Ginobili in 2006, sparked the brawl known as the “Malice at the Palace” in 2004 and Derek Anderson, also in 2004.
Coincidentally, as time has passed some could argue that his characterization might be at least slightly unfair, however, sometimes your actions live larger than your intentions or apologies.
He has a fresher perspective as he is older and as it relates to Brooks.
“I’m always looking for people like hotheads to keep their heads in the game because that makes me happy to see a hothead keep their heads in a game because it just shows that it can be done,” he shared.
“So I always like pushing for guys and like to stay focused and finish your career off strong man! Here I am with a bunch of 4-year olds and STILL one of the BEST defenders to ever do it and I don’t got everything that I should’ve got, you know what I’m sayin’? I don’t got all the awards that I should’ve got because I’m out there doing stupid shit. So I would just encourage those guys to finish your career off strong man and hopefully I can talk to those guys soon.”
Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson is a National hoops television analyst, writer, host and executive producer at Bally Sports Network. He’s also the host of the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
With stops as a staff writer at The Source Magazine and CBS Radio, he’s had previous stops as a host at Spotify, a Senior Writer at Heavy dot com, television analyst at MSG Networks and NBC Sports Network and a managing editor/columnist at RESPECT Magazine & Basketball Society.
A graduate of Eastern University, with a BA in Media Communication & Hofstra University with an MA in Journalism, he began his Journalism career at 12 years old hosting Nets Slammin’ Planet on AM Radio in NYC with the Nets.