NBA Investigating Lakers-Rockets Brawl for Potential Suspensions

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 20:  Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets and Rajon Rondo #9 of the Los Angeles Lakers fight during a 124-115 Rockets win at Staples Center on October 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The NBA is weighing possible suspensions for the players involved in Saturday night's brawl between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo came to blows in the contest after a foul was called on the Lakers in the fourth quarter. Paul reportedly felt he was spit on by Rondo—a contention the Lakers have disputed, per Wojnarowski, while the Rockets have backed Paul's assertion—and thrust his finger into Rondo's face and neck. Rondo then punched Paul. Brandon Ingram ran in and threw a punch at Paul as well, and other players and coaches raced into to break up the altercation.

The altercation reportedly extended beyond the court. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, "one of Rondo's family members confronted Paul's wife, Jada."

As for Paul's accusation that Rondo spit on him to start the fight, Rondo is "adamant" that no such action took place and was "livid" at the very suggestion, per Charania. The Lakers also contended that no spitting took place after reviewing the film. 

The Rockets claim to have seen something different, however. 

"Yeah, that's unacceptable. You don't do that to nobody—in sports, on the streets, that's blatant disrespect right there," Carmelo Anthony said of the alleged spitting incident, per Omnisport (h/t Yahoo Sports). "That's unacceptable. You don't even see that in the streets. I don't know what else to say about that."

Wojnarowski added more about the state of the investigation:

Dave McMenamin and Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN also reported that the "league office could take Rondo's previous suspension for directing an anti-gay slur toward referee Bill Kennedy in 2015 into consideration when determining his punishment."

While Rondo, Paul and Ingram are all likely facing suspensions and fines, the severity of Rondo's punishment will likely hinge on whether the NBA determines any spitting on Paul took place, and if it did, whether it was intentional.

"I saw it from a distance. I wasn't getting in there. I had glasses on. I couldn't go in there," Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters after the game, per Omnisport (h/t Yahoo Sports). "Stuff like that, the NBA will sort it out. It was some heated stuff. I'm sure spit was thrown. When you cross the line, it happens. The NBA will sort it out, and they will do a good job."

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