Pro Football Hall of Famer and Savannah State legend Shannon Sharpe never avoided conflict as a player or broadcaster. If there was any doubt he follows the same mantra as a spectator. Sharpe and a group of Memphis Grizzlies players along with the father of Ja Morant had to separated by security at halftime of the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
Dillon Brooks of the Grizzlies was walking off the court and shouting towards Sharpe who was seated courtside. Sharpe seemed to take exception to the exchange and signaled for Brooks to come and say the words to his face. The first player to approach Sharpe was Grizzlies center Steven Adams. Ja Morant was the next player to approach the kerfuffle, followed by his father and former Claflin basketball player Tee Morant.
More shouting ensued as security personnel stepped in between Sharpe and the players. There was never any physical contact between any of the parties. Sharpe was escorted to a room in the back of Crypto arena but was allowed to return to his seat in the third quarter and stayed for the remainder of the game.
Difference of Opinions
Sharpe offered his take on what happened during a brief interview with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin just after the incident.
“They didn’t want this smoke, Dave,” Sharpe said. “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.”
During the postgame interview after the Grizzlies lost to the Lakers Brooks offered his opinion.
“I ain’t talking about that,” said Brooks, “You can ask him. He’s the blogger or whatever he is. I don’t really care about all that. Next question.”
Lebron James, who scored 23 points for the Lakers in the win, had a different take on the event when asked about it afterward.
“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.”
Shannon Sharpe and Tee Morant were seen hugging and talking with one another on two separate occasions after halftime. Ja Morant contemplated addressing the issue when asked about it afterward.
“I ain’t going to address that. I’m going to let him live today,” said Morant.