One of the biggest stories coming out of the Los Angeles Lakers’ victory over the Toronto Raptors was a first-quarter scuffle between the two sides. Once things were settled and the referees reviewed the footage, they decided that the Lakers’ Montrezl Harrell and the Raptors’ OG Anunoby deserved to be ejected from the contest.
Things started after Dennis Schroder committed a hard foul on Anunoby and held him up to ensure he didn’t fall. Once Anunoby recovered he had a hold on Schroder’s leg and suddenly lifted them, essentially sweeping Schroder’s legs and causing him to fall on his back. This caused Harrell to rush over to Schroder’s defense, shoving Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. and ultimately leading to his ejection.
The decision came as a surprise to Harrell. “When they first came out, they said it was Dennis [Schroder] and when they came back to talk it was me,” he said after the game. “I don’t see anything wrong I did.”
Harrell further explained what he saw on the play. “My teammate committed a foul. He held the guy up so he didn’t hurt himself and the guy reacted by sweeping his leg from up under him… That’s uncalled for and I went over there to defend my teammate just like I would do any other time.
“That’s not the way you do things… It’s wrong. I don’t really think I did anything wrong to be ejected, but it is what it is.”
The argument against Harrell would seem to be that he escalated the situation by running over and shoving Raptors players. But as far as Harrell was concerned, anyone not in a Lakers jersey is someone he doesn’t care for.
“My beef was with anybody who didn’t have a Lakers jersey on,” Harrell added. “That’s who my beef was with. Simple as that. My teammate was sweep from off his feet, one-legged after holding somebody up and dropped on his back, so my beef was with anybody that wasn’t wearing a white jersey.”
From the outside, there may be some arguments as to whether Harrell did the right thing, but there is no question that his teammates love this type of attitude. Schroder looked as if he may punch someone after taking that fall, but even he was pushed to the background once Harrell came over.
Teams must have chemistry and trust and while no one wants to see fights happening, it means a lot that Harrell was there in full force ready to defend his teammate against anyone to come against them.
Schroder ‘thankful’ for Harrell coming to his defense
Schroder was chief among those who loved and appreciated what he saw from Harrell. Obviously the Lakers point guard was in the middle of the altercation, committing the foul that started everything. Schroder believes that the altercation as a whole was unnecessary.
But when it comes to Harrell’s actions, Schroder said he would have done the same thing and even went back to the locker room to thank him.
“With Trezz, I would do the same thing for everyone in this locker room,” Schroder said. “We’re all brothers, family. After it happened and he got ejected, I went into the locker room during the game and I told him that I appreciate him and I would do the same thing for him. I’m really thankful for that one.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!