There was a ton of hype surrounding Saturday night’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets, as LeBron James made his Staples Center debut against one of the elite teams in the Western Conference. It was a tightly-contested game all throughout, but no one could have expected what ended up happening in the fourth quarter of action.
Brandon Ingram and James Harden got into it after the Lakers’ third-year forward shoved the reigning MVP, which led to the two needing to be separated.
It seemed like there was going to be nothing other than the run of the mill jawing that sometimes breaks out between two teams, but as it turned out, Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo wanted to do a whole lot more than that.
Paul put his finger in Rondo’s face while the two were doing their own, separate jawing. Rondo then threw a punch, he and Paul got it on, and Ingram flew in from out of nowhere to throw a punch on his own. It was an absolutely stunning development, which led to players from both things trying to break things up.
Here’s are alternate angles of things, which shows Paul putting his finger right in Rondo’s grill, Rondo throwing a punch, and Ingram running in from way behind the altercation to throw a punch.
By the time the dust eventually settled, Ingram received two technical fouls and got tossed. Paul and Rondo, understandably, also got tossed. It was stunning, as Ingram is known for his low-key demeanor, and while both Paul and Rondo are proud veterans who don’t take nonsense from anyone, neither of them are guys who you would expect to throw hands like this.
As an added layer of intrigue, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN pointed out that the person in charge of handing out punishment for the league in these circumstances just happened to be in attendance.
It goes without saying, but this is the kind of fracas that leads to people getting suspended, and makes it so there’s a whole lot of intrigue over the next time these two teams play — Dec. 13, when the Lakers travel to Houston.