You never know what you’re going to see at a Lakers game in Los Angeles. Celebrities on the pitch are common and sometimes engage in banter (friendly or less friendly) with the players during the game. It’s usually in the spirit of competition, but every once in a while things can get out of control.
That’s exactly what happened right after the halftime buzzer in the Lakers’ 122-121 win over the Memphis Grizzlies at Crypto.com Arena on Friday, when Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end and Shannon FOX Sports’ Sharpe had a heated exchange with several 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 didn’t have it and motioned for Brooks to come over to him. Grizzlies center Steven Adams then moved towards Sharpe as a crowd of players and security guards began to form. Eventually Tee Morant, the father of Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant, joined in and Sharpe turned his attention to him as the two were separated.
According to ESPN’s Mark Jackson, Tee Morant said his “blood pressure hasn’t gone up one bit – nothing but love and respect for Shannon Sharpe”.
“They didn’t want that smoke,” Sharpe told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin at halftime. “They do all talk and jockey and I’m not about that jockey. It started with Dillon Brooks. I said he was too small to keep LeBron. He said, ‘F— ‘me. I said ‘F—‘ back. He started coming up 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 he obviously didn’t want any trouble. But I wanted everything they had. Don’t let those fools fool you now.”
Cooler heads seemed to prevail as Sharpe took his place for the second half. Later, Sharpe and Tee Morant were seen sharing a hug late in the third quarter.
Brooks responded after the match, saying Sharpe should not have been allowed to stay in the arena after the altercation.
Lakers superstar LeBron James expressed his support for Sharpe after the win.
“I run with Shannon 365 days, 366 in a leap year, 24/7. He’s my guy,” James said. “I will always be behind him. He can talk to the best of them, that’s for sure.”
Fortunately, things didn’t escalate to the point of a physical altercation, but it was certainly a memorable night in Los Angeles.