Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul got physical on Saturday at Staples Center, and the two may soon face discipline from the NBA.
In LeBron James‘ first regular-season game in Los Angeles as a Laker, Brandon Ingram shoved James Harden after the reigning MVP argued a foul call. Rondo and Paul started to argue, and Rondo punched his counterpart after the Rockets point guard put his hands in Rondo’s face.
What initially set Paul off? The point guard told ESPN that Rondo spit in his face, per ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, while Houston head coach Mike D’Antoni said “some spit was thrown.”
Chris Paul told our broadcast crew this all started because Rajon Rondo spit in his face. When the second replay cycles through you can see Chris wiping his face before he goes at Rondo. pic.twitter.com/2DxPjWdYCu
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) October 21, 2018
No matter the cause, and despite the fact that Rondo’s biggest games in the building came as a member of the Boston Celtics, the 32-year-old won over his new crowd on his Lakers home debut.
Staples is on edge. I don’t know what just happened because they’re not showing replays in here.
Now they’re chanting “Rondo”
— Paolo Uggetti (@PaoloUggetti) October 21, 2018
If you had said, a decade ago, that Staples Center would have earnestly chanted Rajon Rondo’s name, I would have laughed you and your time machine out of the room. Welcome to 2018, I guess.
It’s safe to say the NBA didn’t enjoy the display nearly as much as the crowd in Los Angeles. The league could hand down discipline very soon, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
With the NBA’s Kiki VanDeWeghe on the scene at Staples, investigation into Rockets-Lakers fight is underway tonight and there is potential for suspensions as soon as Sunday, league source tells ESPN. Rockets play Clippers on a back-to-back.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 21, 2018
To add insult to potential supplemental discipline for Rondo, Paul got the last laugh. His Rockets won the game 124-115.