There was chaos at Crypto.Com Arena on Saturday afternoon [AEDT] as Fox Sports personality and NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe sparked a heated altercation with several Memphis Grizzlies players.
Sharpe needed to be escorted from the ground by security and spent halftime inside the sector’s tunnel before re-emerging to his seat within the third quarter of Memphis’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
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The altercation took place right after the halftime buzzer, with the TV personality claiming a verbal jab directed at Dillon Brooks was behind the chaotic scenes.
“They didn’t want this smoke,” Sharpe said to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
“They do all that talking and jockeying and I ain’t about that jockeying. It began with Dillon Brooks. I said he was too small to protect LeBron. He said, ‘F***’ me. I said, ‘F*** you’ back. He began to return at me and I said, ‘You don’t want these problems’.
“After which Ja got here out of nowhere talking. He definitely didn’t want these problems. Then the dad got here and he obviously didn’t want no problems. But I wanted anything they’d. Don’t let these fools idiot you now.”
Sharpe was seen yelling at Grizzlies star Ja Morant before Kiwi teammate Steven Adams stepped in and exchanged words with the previous NFL player.
Tensions only continued to boil over as Morant’s father Tee got involved, with the 2 feuding parties separated.
Sharpe reportedly yelled “I bet you won’t” in Tee Morant’s direction as he was pulled away.
Speaking in broadcast after halftime, Mark Jackson said the altercation was proof of just how close the Grizzlies as a team are, even when it was “nothing” in his opinion.
“You see Steven Adams comes over to guard his guy together with the supporting forged after which Shannon Sharpe [is] still talking and Tee Morant, Ja Morant’s dad comes over,” Jackson said.
“I had a possibility to seek advice from Tee Morant and he said, ‘My blood pressure didn’t go up a bit, nothing but love and respect for Shannon Sharpe. Only a bunch of men talking a bunch of trash’.
“The great thing you see is everyone seems to be in constructing still of their seat but we’ve to be higher collectively. I’ll let you know what, it showed you the togetherness of the Memphis Grizzlies. There was a bunch of men who had nothing to do with it but wasn’t going to take a seat back and watch. Though it was nothing, they did nothing together.”
Tee Morant and Sharpe were later captured making up on the court, putting any potential bad blood from the situation aside.
Brooks though was quoted telling reporters post-game that Sharpe mustn’t have been allowed back in the sector.
“A daily pedestrian like him? No. He shouldn’t have ever got here back in the sport. However it’s LA,” he said.
Originally published as ‘Absolute madness’ as TV personality, Kiwi Steven Adams in ‘wild’ on-court NBA altercation