You just never know what you’re going to see at a Lakers game in Los Angeles. Celebrities on the court are a regular feature and they occasionally engage in banter (friendly or not so friendly) with players during the game. It’s usually in the spirit of competition, but every now and then it can get out of hand.
That’s exactly what happened right after the halftime buzzer during the Lakers’ 122-121 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday at the Crypto.com Arena, as the Pro Football Hall of Fame tight ended and Fox Sports’ Shannon Sharpe in a heated discussion ended up with several members of the Grizzlies.
The whole thing seemed to start when Memphis forward Dillon Brooks had words for Sharpe on his way to the locker room. Sharpe didn’t feel like it and motioned for Brooks to come over. Grizzlies center Steven Adams then made his way to Sharpe as a mob of players and guards began to form. Eventually, Tee Morant, the father of Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant, joined in, and Sharpe turned his attention to him when the two separated.
According to ESPN’s Mark Jackson, Tee Morant said his “blood pressure didn’t go up one 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 doing 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 coming towards me and I said, ‘You don’t want this trouble.’ And then Ja came out of nowhere talking. He definitely didn’t want these problems. Then the father came and he clearly didn’t want any trouble. But I wanted everything they had. Now don’t be fooled by these fools.”
Cooler heads seemed to get the better of him as Sharpe took his seat for the second half. Later, we saw Sharpe and Tee Morant share a hug at the end of the third quarter.
Brooks responded after the game, saying that Sharpe should not have stayed in the arena after the altercation.
Lakers superstar LeBron James expressed support for Sharpe after the win.
“I walk 365 days with Shannon, 366 in a leap year, 24/7. That’s my husband,” James said. “I will always stand behind him. He can talk to the best, that’s for sure.’
Thankfully, it didn’t escalate into a physical altercation, but it sure was a memorable night in Los Angeles.