Donovan Mitchell On Dillon Brooks Hitting Him In The Nuts: ‘That’s Just Who He Is’

The Cleveland Cavaliers picked up a strong home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday, winning by a 15-point margin in front of a national television audience. Beyond the win-loss result, though, there were fireworks in the third quarter when a fight broke out, leading to the ejections of Cavs star Donovan Mitchell and Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks. The incident was ignited when Brooks hit Mitchell in the nuts during live play and, after the game, Mitchell spoke extensively about his feels on Brooks. In short, it wasn’t terribly positive.

“That’s just who he is,” Mitchell said. “We’ve seen it a bunch in this league with him. Him and I have had our personal battles for years. Quite frankly, I’ve been busting his ass for years, playoffs, regular season. And the one game he does an alright job on me today, he decides to do something like that. There’s no place for that in the game and you’ve gotta protect yourself at the end of the day.”

“This has been brewing for years, with me, with other guys in the league,” Mitchell continued. “You all see it. This isn’t new. Tonight was just the end of it. It’s tough when you can’t guard somebody and can’t do something with somebody, you gotta resort to that and that’s what he’s done to a lot of players… I’m glad my guys held it down tonight and had my back throughout the whole thing.”

It certainly isn’t a given for a player ejected after 22 minutes to even speak at a postgame press conference, even when acknowledging Mitchell is Cleveland’s most prominent player. Still, it appeared as if he had plenty to get off his chest about Brooks, and as Mitchell noted, Brooks has seemingly earned a reputation around the league for chippy behavior at the very least. It isn’t every day that you hear this kind of candid sentiment from one player to another on the record, but there is no love lost between Mitchell and Brooks, and things boiled over in this instance.

The Cavs were fully behind Mitchell, as he got presented with the chain in the locker room and coach J.B. Bickerstaff had quite the quote about his guys.