In a striking encounter during the opening round of last season's NBA playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks encountered a swift ejection, just 17 seconds into the second half. This incident in Game 3 brought a cascade of reactions from both fans and analysts alike.
Brooks, having robustly struck LA's luminary, LeBron James, found himself ousted post an official review, which ruled his act a flagrant foul 2 - unnecessary and excessive. Los Angeles capitalized on this, eventually winning 111-101 and later clinching the series 4-2 against a higher-ranked Memphis, despite being at a disadvantage in Game 3 with a score of 53-37.
Popovich Holds Ejection Record
Despite the rapidity of Brooks' ejection, the record for the fastest in NBA history is held not by a player, but a coach. Gregg Popovich, the seasoned head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, was ejected a mere 63 seconds into a game against the Denver Nuggets in April 2019.
This moment of fury, spurred by a non-call during LaMarcus Aldridge's offensive move against Paul Millsap, saw Popovich earn two technical fouls, eclipsing the previous quickest ejection record held by the late Wizards coach Flip Saunders in 2012.
After six formidable years with the Grizzlies, Brooks, known for his tenacious defense and enforcer mentality, has inked a deal with the Houston Rockets. Despite experiencing a slump last season, averaging 14.3 points with a career-low 39.6% field shooting, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists, Brooks secured a four-year contract valued at $80 million.
He will notably start as a small forward, aiming to fortify the Rockets' perimeter defense. Joining forces with All-Star guard Fred VanVleet, recent marquee signing Dillon Brooks is poised to breathe fresh vitality into the Houston Rockets under the strategic leadership of newly minted head coach Ime Udoka.
Coming off a disappointing season, finishing 14th in the Western Conference with a lackluster 22-60 record, Houston is ardently eyeing a potent revitalization. Brooks, despite being embroiled in past controversies, brings a seasoned, gritty play and scoring ability that may well synergize with the team's evolving dynamics.
Alongside the infusion of new talents and strategic leadership, the Rockets seem to be on a robust trajectory, earnestly crafting a compelling and triumphant narrative for the forthcoming NBA season.