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Due to heated rivalries in the NBA, players don’t always see eye to eye on the floor. However, even in the middle of intense rivalry, there are times when mutual respect is displayed. One such example is Luka Doncic‘s appreciation for Team Canada’s gritty defender. Doncic’s admiration for him extends beyond the game, appreciating the special attributes that have made him a star on both the international and NBA stages.

Doncic lately spoke up in defense of the 27-year-old Canadian defender in an interview. This has won the hearts of not only fans but also the people who used to hate on him.

Luka Doncic shows respect to 6’6 Defender

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During a key World Cup contest between Slovenia and Canada, Dillon Brooks had the challening chore of protecting Luka Doncic. Despite Doncic being one of the NBA’s brightest talents, Brooks did not back down. He limited Doncic’s game, restricting him to 8-of-20 shooting and eventually driving the All-NBA wonder to dismissal due to two technical fouls.

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As Doncic is a fan favorite, Brooks became a victim of criticism. But he didn’t back down from the opposition crowd’s shouts and jeers. Instead, he utilized their hatred as fuel. With each three-pointer, he turned to the booing supporters, placed his fingers to his lips, and kissed them. His attitude to the game was demonstrated by his spirit and resilience. A stat also revealed that Brooks is the most hated player in the NBA currently.

But Luka Doncic’s statements regarding Dillon Brooks in the post-game press conference demonstrated his admiration for the Canadian defender. He said, “A lot of people don’t like him, but I respect him for what he does.” 

Read More: With $80,000,000/Year, Luka Doncic to Surpass Jaylen Brown and Anthony Davis’ Record Soon, Per Insider

Luka’s remarks illustrate Brooks’ defensive effectiveness and his ability to influence the game. Jordi Fernandez, Canada’s head coach, also commended Dillon Brooks, saying he is one of the greatest perimeter defenders in the game. According to Fernandez, if you don’t appreciate Brooks’ style of play, you might not truly understand basketball.

The future of Dillon Brooks

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Dillon Brooks is on his way to the Houston Rockets, where his defensive ability is believed to be crucial in the team’s rebuilding efforts. Ime Udoka, the Rockets’ newly hired head coach, sees Brooks as an important tool in creating the team’s identity.

USA Today via Reuters

Brooks’ ability to mentor young players and provide a competitive edge to the game fits in nicely with Udoka’s vision for the squad. Despite exiting the Memphis Grizzlies, where he established the team’s competitive culture, Brooks is eager to take on a leadership position in Houston. He maintains his defensive confidence and emphasizes the necessity of a positive attitude and continual growth. Brooks feels that paying attention to the details and the little things can lead to success for the Rockets.

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The mutual regard between Luka Doncic and Dillon Brooks is an encouraging example of the sportsmanship that occurs in the middle of a competition. Brooks’ toughness and defensive prowess have given him the title of one of the game’s brightest lights. He is a player worth watching and admiring as he continues to bring his own edge to the game.