The NBA suspended Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram (four games), guard Rajon Rondo (three games) and Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul (two games), all without pay, for their roles in a fourth-quarter fight on Saturday night in Los Angeles.
“Ingram has been suspended for aggressively returning to and escalating the altercation and throwing a punch in the direction of Paul, confronting a game official in a hostile manner, and instigating the overall incident by shoving Rockets guard James Harden,” the league said in a statement. “Rondo has been suspended for instigating a physical altercation with, and spitting and throwing multiple punches at, Paul. Paul has been suspended for poking at and making contact with the face of Rondo, and throwing multiple punches at him.”
Rondo received one more game than Paul because he threw the first punch, NBA vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe, who was in attendance for Saturday night’s skirmish, told SportsCenter on Sunday night.
“We try to judge each one of these [incidents] on the merits, who does what, who instigates, how dangerous the situation becomes and is,” VanDeWeghe said. “And also the discipline is an act of deterrence. We want to make sure that we deter this further action and make a statement that this is not acceptable. Fighting’s not acceptable in our league and never has been.”
Paul will serve his suspension Sunday night, when the Rockets face the Clippers at Staples Center.
Houston coach Mike D’Antoni disagreed with the severity of Paul’s penalty.
“It’s just not equitable,” he said. “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.”
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SOURCE: ESPN, Adrian Wojnarowski