The excrement hit the proverbial fan in Houston on Saturday, when the Rockets vs. Lakers game spectacularly descended into chaos that resulted in the suspensions of key players on both teams.
The extent of what happened is still being debated and dissected by both professional and armchair video analysts trying to figure out exactly what went down between Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo that night.
What we do know is that, at the very least, punches were thrown between the two point guards after Laker Brandon Ingraham shoved James Harden in the fourth quarter of the matchup. Though Paul and Rondo were quickly separated by teammates (including Lebron James), the aftermath of the incident has yet to settle.
Paul’s camp maintains that Rondo spit in his face during the altercation, and the NBA believes this to be true. Rondo was suspended for three games following the fight, a harsher punishment than the two games Paul will have to sit out (though not as lengthy a suspension as the four-gamer received by Ingraham for his part in the scuffle). According to the NBA, the longer suspension was due to “instigating a physical altercation with, and spitting and throwing multiple punches at, Paul.”
This is one of the pieces of video the Rockets are sending the league office as the NBA investigates last night’s fight at Staples Center and determines discipline. pic.twitter.com/YKw7JF13cP
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) October 21, 2018
Rondo plainly refutes this claim by Paul and the NBA. “I had a mouthpiece in my mouth and I [expectorated] because I was about to tell him to ‘get the f*** out of here,’” said the Lakers’ guard.
“Ain’t no way that I intentionally spit on you with my body language the way it was. One, if I spit on you, bottom line, there is not going to be no finger-pointing. If you felt that I just spit on you, then all bets are off. Two, look at my body language. If I spit on you on purpose, I’m going to be ready for a man to swing on me. You ain’t going to have my hands on my hip and my head look away at someone if I spit on them.”
In the same discussion with ESPN, Rondo had some choice words when discussing Paul.
“Of course, the NBA went with his side because I got three games and he got two,” said Rondo. “Everyone wants to believe Chris Paul is a good guy. They don’t know he’s a horrible teammate. They don’t know how he treats people.”
Rockets GM Daryl Morey appeared to take issue with Rondo’s statement, tweeting this image on Tuesday night.
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) October 23, 2018
Former Celtics center Glen Davis also chimed in, and had less than glowing things to say about Paul.
Glen Davis weighed in after Rajon Rondo called Chris Paul a “horrible teammate.” pic.twitter.com/Fg8QLCvpe9
— ESPN (@espn) October 23, 2018
This beef isn’t likely to be finished anytime soon; Houston and LA are slated to face each other three more times this season.
Thank You, Dave Roberts
Though the Boston W was certainly nothing to sneeze at (not to mention free tacos), one of the best moments of game one of the World Series came when Dodgers manager and Red Sox postseason hero Dave Roberts was announced over the Fenway loudspeaker.
— MLB (@MLB) October 24, 2018
Suddenly, there’s something in my eye.
Media credit: New York Post, Giphy