When Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul exchanged punches and Brandon Ingram came to his teammate’s defense, it put LeBron James in an awkward position.
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While there have been debates about James appearing to pick his good friend over his teammates, the reality is Paul was the closest player to him when the fight escalated.
That night James said he ‘didn’t see anything’ during the melee, but he has now provided more insight after the NBA’s decision to suspend all three players.
James explained he was simply focused on one thing when it all transpired, according to Kyle Goon of Orange County Register:
“No. All I cared about was trying to get the thing over with so we could get back to the game. That’s all that was on my mind at the end of the day. Just trying to separate the whole altercation and help the referees out.”
For James, it was not about picking a side, but trying to lead the Lakers to their first win of the 2018-19 NBA season. At the time, the Lakers were within one point before Ingram was called for a questionable foul on James Harden, which ignited the altercation.
With Ingram and Rondo suspended four and three games, respectively, head coach Luke Walton will insert Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball in the starting lineup. While Ball played well in his fourth game in five months, the hope is Kuzma will find a rhythm as he has struggled since the preseason.