A replay of Dillon Brooks' groin shot on LeBron James. A replay of Dillon Brooks’ groin shot on LeBron James. (ESPN.)

The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Memphis Grizzlies 111-101 Saturday night to go up 2-1 in that first-round playoff series, but Lakers’ star LeBron James took a significant blow along the way. Early in the third quarter, with Memphis trailing 53-37, Brooks struck James in the groin with his hand. That led to him receiving a flagrant 2 foul and getting ejected:

In a postgame interview with Mike Trudell of Lakers’ regional sports network Spectrum Sports Net, James had quite the response to being asked what he thought of that situation:

“We just focused on the game plan. And there was a lot of game left to play when that incident happened. So I just tried to get up, protect, uh, my crown jewels, and move on to the next play.”

It’s not every day you hear an athlete discussing their groin this way on a broadcast, but this was a pretty reasonable comment from James overall (and much less profane than what we’ve seen in some other recent postgame interviews). But James did have some other notable comments on Brooks (who had previously taunted James with comments to the media such as “I don’t care, he’s old,” “You can’t take me one-on-one,” and “When I’m on that floor, you’re just another player to me” after the Grizzlies’ Game 2 win) in a postgame press conference. For one, he talked about how he spoke to Brooks in public pregame, and wants to keep their exchanges there:

James also discussed where Brooks fits in in a long line of people who have tried to throw him off his game. Here’s the key part of Dave McMenamin’s ESPN writeup of that:

What James, a 20-year veteran, said he doesn’t appreciate as much is the seemingly constant stream of agitators who have tried to rattle him — from DeShawn Stevenson to Joakim Noah, Lance Stephenson to Jason Terry, Paul Pierce to Draymond Green.

“This is not my first rodeo,” James said. “I’ve had this throughout my career with certain individuals. It’s easy. It’s literally easy if you want to …”

James stopped himself there and put the focus back on the win — and on Anthony Davis, seated to his right on the postgame dais, who had 31 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks.

“We won; you played a hell of a game, my boy,” James said to Davis. “Yes, you had a hell of a game. I’m not going to do this.”

So, even after a shot to those crown jewels, James doesn’t seem ready to get into a media war of words with Brooks.

[OhNoHeDidnt24 and The Comeback on Twitter, ESPN]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.