JJ Redick Has a Problem With Dillon Brooks-Grizzlies Report

JJ Redick
JJ Redick /

On Tuesday Dillon Brooks was burned as badly as we've seen any player burned by their former team when a Shams Charania report emerged that the Memphis Grizzlies would not bring back Brooks "under any circumstances." Many, including this website, took note of the verbiage there and felt it was shockingly strong. Perhaps unnecessarily so given Brooks was pretty obviously not the root of the problem in Memphis.

JJ Redick took some time on First Take today to clearly lay out all his problems with whoever's agenda was being pushed by the report being worded as it was and how it's everything that's wrong with the media ecosystem today.

Redick's frustration is palpable and many undoubteldy feel the same but the root of his criticism that it was all for engagement feels a bit... misplaced. Aside from the fact that complaining about engagement bait on First Take feels so lacking in self-awareness it's almost a gag, the whole insider system in place here is built around engagement. It's why Shams and Woj and all them are so well-compensated. If it weren't for the interest of the fans and the engagement that stems directly from that interest then insiders as we know them would not exist.

The Brooks thing definitely sucked from pretty much every angle and is a good example of the worst kind of information dissemination that happens in this ecosystem. Shams and others in his profession are often far too willing to light someone's reputation on fire in exchange for access when it is not at all necessary. Saying the Grizzlies wouldn't be bringing Brooks back is reporting. Saying they wouldn't do it "under any circumstances" doesn't feel like reporting. It feels something closer to rumor-mongering.

At its core, though, it is not all that different from any other information Shams might tweet out. The goal is the same no matter what the substance is-- drive engagement, which builds reputation, which allows for more access, which means professional success and all that comes with it. For better and for worse that is the game. This time Brooks was the avatar for the bad side of it all.