Grizzlies get heated with ex-NFL star Shannon Sharpe before half

LOS ANGELES – Tempers flared just after the second quarter buzzer sounded in Friday night’s game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers when several members of the Grizzlies engaged in a shouting match with Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe, who was sitting nearby. The yard.

Referees and security intervened to settle the confrontation as several Grizzlies players — including Dillon Brooks, Steven Adams, Jae Morant and Morant’s father, Ty Morant — gathered on the sideline against their bench at Arena to approach Sharpe.

Sharpe, who works as a commentator for Fox Sports, was escorted by security through the tunnel to a back hallway of the arena, where he stayed for half before returning to his seat for the third quarter.

Part of Sharpe’s persona on his show, “Undisputed,” is celebrating his unabashed fandom of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James opposite his co-host, Skip Bayless, a notorious James critic. Sharpe appeared on the show wearing a goat mask and James’ jersey, suggesting that James is the NBA’s greatest player of all time, or GOAT.

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Sharpe gave ESPN a brief interview on his way back to his seat before the second half started.

“They didn’t want the smoke, Dave,” Sharpe said. “They do all that talking and jockeying and I’m not about that jockeying. It started with Dillon Brooks. I said he’s too small to watch LeBron. He said, ‘F— me’. I said, ‘F—‘ – Back then, he started coming to me, and I said, ‘You don’t want the problems.’ And then he came from somewhere to talk, he certainly didn’t want the problems, then the father came and he certainly didn’t want any problems.

– But I wanted everything they had, don’t let that fool fool you now.

Cameras later showed Sharpe and Ty Morant shaking hands and hugging at the end of the third quarter. The two hugged again after the final buzzer.

“Shannon didn’t do anything,” Ty Morant told ESPN. “Hey, he’s doing like we do in South Carolina. We’re talking our s— … South Carolina, stand up!”

James, who got 23 points to pull within 260 of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record, said he appreciated Sharpe’s presence.

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“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 to the best of them, for sure.”

Some of the Grizzlies players are in a less jovial mood about the run-in, however.

“I’m not talking about that,” said Brooks, who claimed he only told Sharpe that James had fired a shot while guarding him. “You can ask him. He’s the blogger or whatever. I really don’t care about all that. Next question.”

When pressed if Sharpe’s behavior was appropriate for someone attending the game as a fan, Brooks didn’t hold back.

“A regular pedestrian like him? No,” Brooke said. “He should have never come back in the game. But this is LA.”

When Jay Morant was asked about Sharpe, he paused for about six seconds before speaking, then said, “Let me think,” and was silent for a few seconds before answering.

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“Well,” he said, thinking better of the abattoir. “I’m not going to address that, I’m going to let him live today.”

Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins also sidestepped a question about what happened to Sharpe and his team, saying simply, “I thought the Lakers played extremely well tonight.”

The Grizzlies lost 122-121 to snap an 11-game winning streak. Lakers guard Dennis Schroeder scored the game-winning bucket with 7.6 seconds left after stealing the ball from Desmond Bane near center court and streaking in for an and-1 layup.

“If we would have followed our principles, we would have won the game by 15,” Brooks said.

Jenkins dismissed the significance of seeing the win streak snap just shy of setting a new franchise record.

“The disappointment is that we didn’t play to our standard. I don’t care about a streak,” he said. “Nobody should care about a strike. It’s about performing, being 100 [percent] Out there, having the right mindset. … To come out there and get outcompeted in every single area is unacceptable.”


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