The NBA has handed out multiple suspensions and fines as a consequence of the brawl that broke out between players on the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets over the weekend.
CBS reports that the punishments doled out to stars Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, and Brandon Ingram will vary. Ingram will be expelled for the longest period of time, and Paul will incur the heftiest financial burden for his role in the melee.
The league announced on Sunday, October 21, that it had concluded its investigation into the events of the previous evening and had determined that Ingram was deserving of a four-game suspension, Rondo of a three-game suspension, and that Paul ought to sit out two games for trading blows during the exchange. Though it has been established that he was not the aggressor in the incident, Paul’s larger salary dictates that he pay the costlier penalty of $491,782 — while Rondo and Ingram will be docked $186,207 and $158,816 respectively.
Sunday’s judgment came by way of NBA Vice President of Basketball Operations Kiki VanDeWeghe, who happened to be on hand at the Staples Center to witness Saturday’s dust-up. He watched, along with a sold-out crowd, as Ingram shoved reigning MVP James Harden, sparking a commotion that would lead to Rondo and Paul coming face to face with 4:13 left in the game. Moments later, Ingram would once again interject himself into the mix after noticing that Rondo and Paul had come to blows.
As was previously reported by the Inquisitr, all three men were ejected once the smoke had settled. With the Lakers having lost their tag-team of Rondo and Ingram as a result, Los Angeles would go on to lose by a score of 124-115.
The Lakers and Rockets threw punches at Staples ???? pic.twitter.com/YKWRkqHnXF
— ESPN (@espn) October 21, 2018
Much speculation followed about the events that had set Paul and Rondo off in the first place. The veteran guards have long been known to carry some unresolved grudge against one another, but violence has never manifested from their vendetta prior to their most recent meeting.
Before long, word had gotten out that Rondo may have provoked Paul by spitting in his face. Carmelo Anthony was the most vocal in defending his teammate’s actions. From the outset Anthony has maintained that he saw Rondo spit first hand, telling reporters after the game that it was an act of “blatant disrespect” that isn’t taken lightly “in sports or in the streets.”
According to a Twitter post by ESPN journalist Rachel Nichols, the league was indeed reviewing video of the encounter in order to substantiate the claims.
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
Houston coach Mike D’Antoni has since spoken out in protest of the punishment levied against Paul, saying that “it’s just not equitable.”
“If you wanted to suspend him one [game] I get it, just to make a statement. Then you’re talking monetarily, he’s paying three times more than the other guys are paying for missing games? That doesn’t seem to be right,” said D’Antoni.
VanDeWeghe has, however, stood firm on the decision, saying in a statement issued on the matter of the suspensions that the league is intent on “sending a clear message that this is not acceptable behavior and you cannot do this.”