Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James addressed the argument between Pro Football Hall of Famer and current Fox Sports commentator Shannon Sharpe and the Memphis Grizzlies during Friday’s game at Crypto.com Arena.
“I ride with Shannon 365 days—366 on a leap year—24/7,” James told reporters Saturday. “So that’s my guy. I always got his back. And he’s got mine. He can talk with the best of them, for sure.”
Just before halftime of Friday’s game, Sharpe, who was seated near the court, got into a confrontation with a number of Grizzlies players, including Dillon Brooks, Steven Adams and Ja Morant. Morant’s father, Tee Morant, was also involved in the spat.
SportsCenter @SportsCenterShannon Sharpe and the Grizzlies shared words during Grizzlies-Lakers. pic.twitter.com/ziOPY5Z8ZN
Sharpe, a big supporter of James, was escorted by security off the court as players went to their respective locker rooms. When Sharpe returned to his seat after halftime, he told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that the shouting began when he told Brooks he was “too small” to guard James:
“They didn’t want this smoke, Dave. They do all that talking and jockeying and I ain’t about that jockeying. 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.”
Cameras later caught Sharpe and Tee Morant shaking hands after the third quarter before the two shared a hug following L.A.’s 122-121 victory.
ESPN @espnIt’s all love between Shannon Sharpe and Tee Morant. pic.twitter.com/iSNeikINp1
The Lakers are having another disappointing season. They sit 13th in the Western Conference with a 21-25 record.
However, James is in the midst of another respectable year individually. The four-time NBA champion is averaging 29.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 36 games while shooting 50.6 percent from the floor and 28.8 percent from deep.
James and the Lakers will be back in action Sunday against the Portland Trail Blazers, while the Grizzlies will face the Phoenix Suns the same day.