While the story quickly became the longstanding animosity between Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul, the fight that marred the game between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers technically began because of Brandon Ingram showing frustration.
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After being whistled for a foul, Ingram shoved James Harden out of the way and demonstrated aggressive body language toward an official. Lance Stephenson removed his teammate from the situation, but Ingram returned once the melee between Paul and Rondo broke out.
The young forward landed a punch, which factored into him receiving a four-game suspension. It was more than the three games Rondo received and two games Paul was suspended for. Nonetheless, Ingram was relieved by the modest ban.
Set to be back in the lineup Monday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Ingram conceded his decision to throw a punch is something he would likely take back if put in that situation again, per Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group:
“How I view it now, I think I would handle it different,” he said. “But like I said, I still would be there for my teammates. I don’t know if I would’ve thrown a punch. I might’ve grabbed somebody, but that’s about it.”
After learning of his suspension, Ingram defiantly stood by his decision to become involved. He explained there would not be an instance where he didn’t look to defend a teammate.
Of course, some of that could still have been the emotion from the moment, and time away from the court has allowed the 21-year-old to do some reflecting. Regardless, Ingram and the Lakers can now fully move on as both suspended players have returned to action.