Whether fair or foul, Zaza Pachulia will forever live in NBA infamy. A long-time role player in the NBA, Zaza shot to prominence as a member of the dynastic Golden State Warriors and no one will ever forget that infamous Game 1 of the 2016/17 Western Conference Finals, where a reckless closeout with his feet knocked out Kawhi Leonard from the series.
So it was perhaps apt, that Zaza who now works as a consultant with the Warriors, was asked about Dillon Brooks' foul that ruled Gary Payton II out for this series with the Grizzlies.
"When you play hard for 48 minutes and every possession, especially in playoffs, sometimes it's getting out of control,". "I don't think it's fair to call someone dirty when your type of play is to play hard. That's what Brooks is in my opinion. Even in regular-season games, he plays hard."
Zaza was the villain for the Spurs and some parts of the larger NBA fanbase after his perceived dirty play on Kawhi, so it wasn't much of a shocker that he came to the defense of Brooks here.
He was speaking before Game 4 tipped off between the Warriors and Grizzlies in what has become a very contentious series. It started off with Draymond Green's flagrant 2 in Game 1 for a hit to Brandon Clarke's face and then the jersey grab. Game 2 then saw that foul by Brooks on Payton II which earned him a suspension for Game 3 and Game 3 of course saw Jordan Poole grab Ja Morant's knee which might have played a factor in Morant missing Game 4.
We can only hope that we have seen the last of all these contentious moments in this series because the games have been quite entertaining. Even with Morant missing Game 4, the Grizzlies played ever so well and nearly leveled the series, but the Warriors prevailed 101-98. We now shift over to Memphis, where the 2nd seed will look to stave off elimination as they find themselves down 3-1 and they will hope that their superstar is able to return and help prolong this series.