Villain Dillon Brooks gets last laugh by leading Canada to historic bronze | Inquirer Sports

Villain Dillon Brooks gets last laugh by leading Canada to historic bronze

/ 10:01 PM September 10, 2023

Dillon Brooks Canada Fiba World Cup

Canada’s Dillon Brooks was feeling it in the Canadians’ overtime win over Team USA to win the Fiba World Cup bronze at Mall of Asia Arena. -MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — Fully embracing his villain role, Dillon Brooks used his doubters to deliver his best game and lead Canada to a historic bronze medal in the Fiba World Cup on Sunday.

Buoyed by the jeers at a rowdy Mall of Asia Arena, Brooks unleashed 39 points, making seven out of his eight 3-pointers, in Canada’s 127-118 overtime win over Team USA.


“I just appreciate you from the beginning. Everybody that was throwing shots on Twitter, Instagram, watching me play…but you know, it just helps me get better and better each and every day,” said Brooks. “It motivates me to be better on the court for my teammates for whatever team I’m playing for. It just motivates me to keep going.”


Brooks, who signed a four-year, $80 million deal with the Houston Rockets last month after spending his first six seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies, has been in the spotlight since his “he’s old and I poke bears” comments directed at LeBron James during the Grizzlies’ first round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers last April. It didn’t work out for Brooks in the end with James and the Lakers eliminating the Grizzlies in six games.

He also took flak recently for proclaiming that he is “the best perimeter defender in the world” and quickly became the subject of social media trolling after Canada was bundled out of the gold medal race by Serbia in the semifinal on Friday.

“It was so enjoyable. Obviously, the hate doesn’t stop. It keeps going. But just having my country behind me, my head coach behind me, general manager, all these guys behind me, and trying to help me succeed. Nothing with the politics, nothing to do with contracts, any of those things. I can succeed,” Brooks said. “It’s hard to battle against the world and a team, so it’s just a great feeling to get bronze and continue to seek history throughout this country.”

“You have to keep going because they love you when you’re up like right now, but when you have a bad game, they go right back to it, so you never have to be satisfied. You always keep working,” he added.

Brooks wasn’t spared by the boos throughout Canada’s campaign in the Fiba World Cup which began in Jakarta, Indonesia and ended in Manila, where a lot of Laker fans reside.


But the 27-year-old forward, whose scoring output was the most in a medal game, welcomed every bit of hate.

“It was my second time. They did the same thing in Jakarta. It’s just an amazing feeling to be recognized during the game. I just never took it for granted,” he said. “The work doesn’t stop here, it just keeps going. I’m not satisfied and neither is anyone on this team.”

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With the World Cup over, don’t expect the feisty Brooks to change his ways with the Rockets when the new NBA season tips off in October.

“You know, it’s just a persona. People love it. I’ve grown to love it myself. It’s just like Kobe Bryant, RIP to Kobe Bryant, how he had to figure out and create the “Black Mamba”, a different persona when he comes on the court,” Brooks said. “That’s my persona, the villain, just on a court. But I’m a loving, caring guy who loves my kids, my family, my teammates, just the world as well.”

This time, the villain had the fairytale ending.

TAGS: Canada, Dillon Brooks, Fiba World Cup

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