Shannon Sharpe got into a heated confrontation with multiple Memphis Grizzles and their family members on Friday night while sitting courtside during the Los Angeles Lakers home game. The entire bizarre incident could have been avoided, however, if Sharpe simply listened to his own advice.
The fracas spilled out onto the floor after Sharpe and Memphis guard Dillon Brooks started jawing at one another across the court. Grizzlies players — including Steven Adams and Ja Morant — made their way over to Sharpe and things escalated. As Sharpe was being pulled away, Ja’s father, Tee Morant, came over and continued the argument.
ESPN video of Shannon and the Grizz + Tee Morant pic.twitter.com/wSbKc1jLz1
— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) January 21, 2023
Afterward, Sharpe told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that the whole thing started because the Grizzlies couldn’t handle his smack talk.
“They didn’t want this smoke, Dave,” said Sharpe. “They do all the 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 don’t want no problems. But I wanted anything they had. Don’t let these fools fool you now.”
Now, let’s take a step back and return to the halcyon days of November 24, 2021. The big sports news of the day is that, during a game between the Lakers and Indiana Pacers, LeBron James had two fans ejected from their courtside seats at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for what he later said were actions “outside the line with obscene gestures and words.”
LeBron unhappy with some fans courtside in Indiana pic.twitter.com/1Ud3B69G1E
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) November 25, 2021
The next day on Undisputed, Sharpe and Skip Bayless had a spirited discussion about the situation, with Shannon firmly taking LeBron’s side and going on a rant against unruly courtside fans who think they can say what they want to the players on the court. Hmm… (H/T: Jay Tisdale for surfacing the clip).
LOL Hold up @ShannonSharpe was this you…. you suppose to chill at the game and just watch not jaw it up with @dillonbrooks24 @JaMorant @RealStevenAdams bruh LOL pic.twitter.com/yJbwME4U8n
— Jay Tisdale (@JayTisdale5) January 21, 2023
“You know what these seats cost, Skip,” said Sharpe on the November 25, 2021 episode. “Sitting courtside…They know right from wrong. But somehow, and it’s been like this for a very long time. People think because they pay money – and we see this in restaurants, you think you can talk to your server any kinda way. You think because you’re paying an enormous amount of money, and the athletes are there to entertain you, you can say, you can do whatever you want. ‘It is well within my rights because I paid $5000 or I paid an exorbitant amount of money for this ticket.’
“And I agree with LeBron. Skip, boo me. It’s a badge of honor if I’m in a visiting arena and I get booed. But you cannot say certain things like what they be saying and think that it’s okay. What has transpired is that America has become more comfortable with saying things to people. They using the term ‘snowflake.’ ‘Oh, you soft.’ Nah, brah. Give me my respect. That’s all I ask.
“I’m a firm believer, you don’t have to respect me but I’ll be damned if I’ll let you disrespect me. I’m glad LeBron handled it that way. Get’m out of the arena. They crossed the line.”
We can only wonder what 2021 Shannon might think about 2023 Shannon’s actions on Friday night. The good news for him, at least, is that just like he had LeBron’s back then, LeBron has his now.