You never know what you’re going to see at a Lakers game in Los Angeles. Celebrities are often found courtside, and occasionally engage in banter (friendly or unfriendly) with players during the game. It’s usually competitive, but things can get out of hand every once in a while.
That’s exactly what happened right after the halftime buzzer during the Lakers’ 122-121 win over the Memphis Grizzlies at Crypto.com Arena on Friday, when Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end and Fox Sports’ Shannon Sharpe stepped in in heated exchange with il. members of the Grizzlies.
It all seemed to start when Memphis forward Dillon Brooks had words for Sharpe on his way to the locker room. Sharpe wasn’t having it, and he gestured for Brooks to come over to him. Grizzlies center Steven Adams then made his way toward Sharpe as a crowd of players and security guards began to form. Eventually Tee Morant, father of Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant, came in, and Sharpe turned his attention to him as the two separated.
According to ESPN’s Mark Jackson, Tee Morant said “his blood pressure didn’t go up a bit — nothing but love and respect for Shannon Sharpe.”
“They didn’t want this smoke,” Sharpe told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin at halftime. “They do all that talking and jockeying and I’m not about that jockeying. It started with Dillon Brooks. I said it was too little to protect LeBron. He said, “F—‘ me. I said ‘F—‘ back to you. He started coming to me and I said, ‘You don’t want these problems.’ And then Ja came out of nowhere talking. He certainly didn’t want these problems. Then the dad came and obviously he didn’t want any problems. But I wanted anything they had. Don’t let these fools fool you now.”
Cooler heads appeared when Sharpe took his seat for the second half. Later, Sharpe and Tee Morant were seen sharing to you at the end of the third quarter.
Brooks responded after the game, saying Sharpe should not have been allowed to stay in the arena after the exchange.
Lakers superstar LeBron James showed his support for Sharpe after the win.
“I run with Shannon 365 days, 366 in a leap year, 24/7. That’s my person,” said James. “I’ll always have his back. He can talk to the best of them, that’s for sure.”
Luckily things didn’t escalate to the point of a physical altercation, but it was certainly a notable night in Los Angeles.