NBA players can’t help themselves sometimes, even while playing under international rules. Canada played Slovenia in a FIBA World Cup matchup Wednesday morning, with the Canadians coming out on top, 100-89. Multiple NBA players headlined this game — mainly for Team Canada — but once Luka Dončić (Slovenia) was ejected, not even losing Dillon Brooks could level the playing field as he was also sent packing. These spoiled NBA hoopers think they can take the same attitude to any court they step on. How dare they.
Following the victory, Brooks stood in the hallway awaiting his triumphant teammates. Even without Brooks on the court, this would be an uphill battle for Slovenia, no matter how well Dončić performed. Getting ejected in the second half didn’t help, but with so many notable NBA names, there’s no guarantee Slovenia would’ve won had Luka stayed in the game.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, R.J. Barrett, Lou Dort, Kelly Olynyk, and Brooks, to name a few. They’ve proven to be quite the squad in international play, improving to 5-1 after Wednesday’s win. Dončić spoke about his respect for Brooks and his actions on the court after the loss.
“A lot of people don’t like him, but I respect him for what he does. And he does that stuff really good,” the Mavs guard said.
Luka respects him now but likely can’t stand Brooks’ antics on the court during the regular season. We shouldn’t expect any of that to change now that Brooks plays for the Houston Rockets. He’s an irritant similar to Draymond Green for the Golden State Warriors. Their roles aren’t exactly the same for their respective teams, but both guys have been able to give their teams that emotional spark during their careers to varying degrees of success. It’s easy to imagine Green having been ejected from this or any other FIBA game if he were dropped into Brooks’ spot.
These NBA dudes barely respect referees in the league, where they make millions each year. It’s hard to expect them to feel any other way about refs in international play or any other setting. It’s an emotional game, and we’ve seen Brooks and Dončić get in their feelings on NBA hardwood, so it’s no surprise they’d do the same during FIBA games.