Shannon Sharpe, a Pro Football Hall of Famer and Fox personality, seemed to start a confrontation with the whole Memphis Grizzlies team and Tee Morant on Friday night at Crypto.com Arena during their game versus the Los Angeles Lakers.
Sharpe was seated courtside at the time of the confrontation, which occurred shortly before halftime. Both Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks were spotted yelling at Sharpe as they exited the court for the locker rooms. Things erupted before they got to the tunnel.
Almost the entire Grizzlies bench, headed by 6-foot-11 centre Steven Adams, surged towards Sharpe, prompting security to intervene and try to restrain them.
Tee Morant, Ja’s father, then approached Sharpe and the bigger group from the side, forcing security to separate the two. Security then escorted Sharpe and the older Morant from the floor in opposite ways, but both returned to their seats for the second half.
From Sharpe’s perspective, the cause of the confrontation was extremely dumb. Sharpe informed ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that the altercation began when Sharpe told Brooks that he was “too tiny to protect LeBron [James].”
“They didn’t want this smoke, Dave,” Sharpe told ESPN. “They do all that talking and jockeying and I ain’t about that jockeying. It started with Dillon Brooks. I said he was too small to guard LeBron. He said, ‘F’ me. I said, ‘F you’ back. He started to come at me, and I said, ‘You don’t want these problems.’
“And then Ja came out of nowhere talking. He definitely didn’t want these problems. Then the dad came, and he obviously didn’t want any problems. But I wanted anything they had. Don’t let these fools fool you now.”
Sharpe, who is legally a member of the media, did not explain why he began heckling Brooks in the first place. Brooks, on the other hand, has a much better chance of protecting James than the 54-year-old former tight end.
After the incident, Tee Morant told Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes that he and Sharpe “are okay” and that he had “nothing but love for him.” They then caught up in the third quarter.
The Lakers rallied in the fourth quarter to win 122-121, snapping Memphis’ 11-game winning streak. Sharpe was also tremendously immersed in the game throughout the closing phase.
Off the bench, Russell Westbrook led the Lakers with 29 points and six assists. Dennis Schroder contributed 19 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists against James’ 23 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.
Memphis was paced by Morant, who had 22 points and eight rebounds, and Tyus Jones and Brandon Clarke each had 20 points off the bench. Adams had 16 points and 17 rebounds in the game.
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