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Ex-NFL star Shannon Sharpe tangles with Grizzlies players during NBA game

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Former NFL player Shannon Sharpe got into an altercation with several NBA players in Los Angeles while sitting courtside at Friday’s game between the visiting Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI
Former NFL player Shannon Sharpe got into an altercation with several NBA players in Los Angeles while sitting courtside at Friday’s game between the visiting Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Former NFL player Shannon Sharpe got into an altercation with several members of the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies while sitting courtside during Friday's game in Los Angeles against the Lakers.

The 54-year-old member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame was talking to Grizzlies players Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks as the game approached halftime at Crypto.com Arena.

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While the Grizzlies players began walking toward the locker room, something caused them to pivot and head directly at Sharpe, along with a large contingent of their bench. Morant and Brooks, along with 6-foot-11 center Steven Adams, led the contingent of Memphis players confronting Sharpe.

The melee was captured on video as security and the game's referees stepped in, attempting to separate the two sides. The players were joined by Morant's father, Tee Morant, who left his seat to join the fracas.

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The altercation continued until security personnel escorted Sharpe down the tunnel to a back area for halftime. He returned to his seat for the game's second half without incident.

Sharpe, who currently works as a commentator for Fox Sports, is a well-known and ardent supporter of Lakers forward LeBron James.

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"They didn't want this smoke, Dave," Sharpe told ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin during a brief halftime interview.

"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 ... 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."

Reaction was mixed following the Lakers' 122-121 win on a last-second Dennis Schroder layup and made foul shot.

"I ain't talking about that," Brooks told reporters after the game. "You can ask him. He's the blogger or whatever he is. I don't really care about all that. Next question."

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Sharpe hugged Tee Morant after the game and the two shook hands. The elder Morant told reporters there were no hard feelings.

"Hey, he was doing like we do in South Carolina. We talk our s---. South Carolina, stand up," he told ESPN.

James, who will soon become the NBA's all-time leading scorer, had no problem with what transpired.

"I mean, I ride with Shannon for 365 days, 366 on a leap year, 24/7," he told reporters after the win. "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."

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