Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said that Memphis Grizzlies Dillon Brooks “broke the code” when he took out Gary Payton Jr. in midair, hitting Payton in the head and sending him crashing to the floor with a broken elbow in the first quarter of Game 2. The code?
Kerr explains: “There’s a code in this league that players follow, where you never put a guy’s season slash career in jeopardy by taking somebody out in midair and clubbing him across the head and ultimately fracturing his elbow.”
Steve Kerr calls Dillon Brooks’ Flagrant 2 foul on GP2 “dirty.”— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 4, 2022
“He broke the code” pic.twitter.com/KNI4GNPpsS
Kerr made the story personal to Payton too, who despite his Hall of Fame pedigree (his father is Hall of Famer Gary Payton) traveled a long road to make it in the NBA. A name guarantees nothing, Payton Jr’s story reinforces.
Kerr explained about Payton: “This is a guy whose been toiling the last six years trying to make it in this league, finally found a home, playing his butt off this year, in the playoffs, this should be the time of his life and a guy comes in and whacks him across the head in midair. He broke the code. Dillon Brooks broke the code.”
Here’s the code-breaking play: