BY Bryan Chai, The Western JournalJanuary 21, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | January 21, 2023
1 year ago

Watch: Wild Sideline Incident Sees NFL Hall of Famer Square Off with NBA Team and NBA Superstar's Dad

The moribund Los Angeles Lakers snapped the 11-game winning streak of the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night, but nobody really wanted to talk about LeBron James inching closer to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time scoring record, or the Lakers getting back to within a game of a play-in playoff spot, or the Grizzlies falling a full game and a half behind the Denver Nuggets for the top seed in the Western Conference.

Indeed, the sports world was abuzz after that Lakers-Grizzlies game, but not for any actual basketball reasons. Rather, all anyone wanted to talk about was... Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe?

That's because Sharpe, the former Denver Bronco and Baltimore Raven, was at the center of a wild, bench-clearing scrum involving multiple Grizzlies players -- and one notable Grizzlies player's dad.

To rewind a bit: Sharpe, who currently co-hosts FS1's "Undisputed" with Skip Bayless, has crafted something of a brash and outspoken persona. One of the ongoing bits on the debate show is that Sharpe plays foil to Bayless' never-ending crusade against James by being an unashamed and unabashed LeBron supporter.

The brash and outspoken Sharpe, attending the Lakers game on Friday, naturally ended up at a game in which James was playing perhaps the brashest and most outspoken team in the NBA.

It's worth noting that James already had some bad blood with the Grizzlies.

WARNING: The following video contains language that some viewers will find offensive.

So you could see this altercation coming a mile away.

[firefly_poll]

While there didn't appear to be any one incident that set off the ordeal, which took place right as the second quarter was ending, Sharpe had been needling the Grizzlies from the outset, eventually prompting a response from high-flying Memphis superstar Ja Morant:

WARNING: The following video contains language that some viewers will find offensive.

Things only escalated from there, with Grizzlies defensive stalwart Dillon Brooks jawing at Sharpe before Sharpe said something that drew multiple Grizzlies players, including Morant, Brandon Clarke and Steven Adams.

Here are some different angles of the confrontation:

As officials and security tried to pull apart the scrum, Ja Morant's father, Tee Morant (wearing the royal blue sweater), joined the fracas, drawing the immediate ire of Sharpe:

WARNING: The following video contains language that some viewers will find offensive.

Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed. Sharpe was escorted to the security tunnel at halftime before being allowed back to his seat, where he eventually had a front-row view of the deciding play of the game.

Sharpe gave ESPN a fired-up interview on the incident shortly after it occurred.

"They didn't want this smoke," Sharpe said. "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 no problems.

"But I wanted anything they had. Don't let these fools fool you now."

For what it's worth, Sharpe and Tee Morant did appear to patch things up mid-game:

But while Sharpe and the elder Morant seem to have smoothed things over, some Grizzlies players were not so quick to get over the fiasco.

Brooks, whom Sharpe initially singled out, called the former NFL star a "regular pedestrian" when asked about the incident post-game:

Ja Morant, perhaps because of his father's apparent mending of fences, declined to comment on the situation.

"I ain't going to address that," he said, according to ESPN. "I'm going to let him live today."

James, for his part, appreciates Sharpe's unrelenting fanboying.

"I mean, I ride with Shannon for 365 days, 366 on a leap year, 24/7," James said after the game. "So that's my guy. So I'll always have his back, and he's got mine. He can talk with the best of them, for sure."

The NBA has yet to announce any sort of punishment for Sharpe, despite punishing fans for similar boorish behavior in the past.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Bryan Chai, The Western Journal

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