Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition

Brooks says hit not on purpose

Guard insists shove of Heat camera person was ‘unintentio­nal’

- By Ira Winderman

DETROIT — In the wake of a $35,000 fine for what the NBA deemed “the unsportsma­nlike act of shoving a camera person” during Wednesday night’s loss to the Miami Heat at Miami-Dade Arena, Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks said the act was unintentio­nal.

Addressing the incident for the first time when the Grizzlies hosted the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night, Brooks said he planned to reach out to the cameraman who is a fixture at Heat home games, working as an independen­t contractor for Bally Sports.

“It was unintentio­nal,” Brooks said of the incident that appeared otherwise, as he unsuccessf­ully scrambled at the midcourt sideline to keep a ball from going out of bounds. “I was running full speed. I didn’t mean to hurt him in any way possible. I’m not that type of person.

“I’m going to give him a call tomorrow to check on him and see how he is.”

Brooks did not mention whether he would appeal the fine. Brooks, 27, is in the final year of the threeyear, $35 million contract that pays $11.4 million this season.

“But, you know, it’s a bad situation,” Brooks said, “and whatever the NBA did is what they did. But I’m not that type of person. I play the game hard.”

The Heat next play at home Wednesday night at MiamiDade Arena against the New York Knicks, after completing a two-game trip Sunday night against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.

The cameraman in the incident, Terry Swann, declined comment to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. A Bally Sports spokesman declined comment on the incident.

In the wake of the NBA’s fine, Heat broadcaste­r Jason Jackson posted a rebuke to Brooks on Twitter.

“I rarely comment on these things,” Jackson posted, “BUT this one is personal. Our veteran @BallyHeat camera operator was injured & remains under evaluation.

“The fine was on point, but the max would have felt like a sliver of justice after disregard for another human - an incredible one at that.”

Brooks’ play occurred with 2:40 remaining in the second quarter of what turned into a 138-119 Grizzlies loss.

Defensive slippage

In the wake of the Heat tumbling in the NBA defensive rankings since the All-Star break, coach Erik Spoelstra said it is the detail not the personnel that has been lacking.

“We’re going to shore this all up,” he said ahead of the game against the Pistons. “That’s it. We’re going to shore it up. We’re capable of being much better defensivel­y.

“It’s the same guys, same people. I mean, we’ve had a top-four defense before All-Star break. It’s costly when we don’t defend with those kinds of efforts like we had in the second half [of Saturday night’s loss to the Chicago Bulls].”

The Heat’s major rotation move since the All-Star break has been inserting buyout-deadline acquisitio­n Kevin Love into the starting lineup and moving Caleb Martin to the bench.

Quality competitio­n

In the wake of the loss in Chicago, the Heat downplayed lacking focus against teams with losing records.

“I think it’s the NBA, as a league. We got good teams,” forward Jimmy Butler said. “You can’t always look at somebody’s record and, ‘Wow, that team’s supposed to beat them.’

“You can get beat by anybody on any given night and we’ve shown that’s happened to us all year long. But what can we do about it now? Let’s try to win as many games as we can moving forward.”

Butler said there is no arrogance involved.

“I don’t think we’re better than anybody,” he said. “I think that we’ve got to compete at it, and when we deserve to win, we’ll win. If we don’t deserve to win, we will not win.”

Guard Max Strus said it is about focus.

“At the end of the day,” he said. “it’s the NBA and everybody is talented. Everybody is a good team when they’re making shots.”

G League recalls

The Heat on Sunday recalled Jamal Cain, Nikola Jovic and Orlando Robinson from their G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Jovic, however, is sidelined by an ankle sprain suffered Saturday night and Robinson was unable to catch his flight to Detroit.

The Skyforce, who are in playoff position, do not play again until closing out their regular-season schedule at home on Friday and Saturday night against the Grizzlies’ affiliate.

 ?? BRANDON DILL/AP ?? Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks, seen here in a game against the Mavericks last season, drew an NBA sanction for what was perceived as an overly aggressive act against a Heat cameraman last week.
BRANDON DILL/AP Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks, seen here in a game against the Mavericks last season, drew an NBA sanction for what was perceived as an overly aggressive act against a Heat cameraman last week.

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