LA Lakers teammates Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul of the Rockets were suspended without pay for an on-court National Basketball Association fight, with Paul taking the heaviest financial hit of almost $750,000.
The two were face-to-face after a scrum had formed over Ingram's push on Houston's MVP James Harden, and Paul said that Rondo spit in his face during the exchange. All three players were ejected from the game. Once Rondo and Paul's altercation occurred, Ingram sprinted from half court and threw a punch of his own in the direction of Paul and PJ Tucker that did not land cleanly.
James said his focus was on the game against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday. CP3 jammed his finger into Rondo's face, which is when he responded with a hook to Paul's face.
But perhaps that energy - and a flagrant foul by Houston's James Ennis III against Josh Hart earlier in the fourth quarter - contributed to the shocking fight that broke out with 4:13 to play. The Lakers have argued that no spitting took place, but the Rockets have been standing by Paul's account.
With four minutes left to play in a hard-fought game against the Houston Rockets, Brandon Ingram got called for a foul; irate, he shoved James Harden.
'It's just not equitable, ' he said.
Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said before that game that he didn't think a two-game suspension for Paul was fair. '[We are] sending a clear message that this is not acceptable behavior and you can not do this.
Rondo's former teammate Paul Pierce revealed that he wasn't surprised that the two kicked off saying, "I am not surprised at all".
'It is what it is, ' Harden said. "I don't know how to decide how many games".
"You leave things in the past and you get on with the future".
"In the heat of the moment when somebody does that, that's tough, that's really tough", D'Antoni said.
He is just the latest to come through that revolving door on the dressing room as the longest tenured player is 21-year-old Ingram.