Whenever LeBron James and Dillon Brooks match up, there are always fireworks and that was the case last Saturday when the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Houston Rockets.
While James went at Brooks on the court, they were not the only players getting chippy. Things started heating up initially when Cam Reddish and Tari Eason exchanged words, resulting in Reddish receiving a technical.
During the free throws, James started talking to Houston Rockets head coach Ime Udoka. The two were not in a heated exchange, but it did not seem friendly, so much so that a referee felt the need to give the two technical fouls. That was Udoka’s second technical, resulting in an ejection.
Leaked audio of the incident became viral and it appeared Udoka called James and the Lakers an expletive, getting made at them for complaining so much. That is what led to the confrontation between James and Udoka, and now Darvin Ham gave his response to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 4, 2023
Ham is rarely animated and tends to keep a calm demeanor when negative comments are made towards his team. It seems that comments made by Udoka felt the need to be responded to, which is good to see Ham standing up for his team and implying that he has implemented a better culture than that.
James and Udoka downplayed the incident after the game on Saturday, but it is telling to see some of the words exchanged. This whole situation may pan out like the first-round series last year against the Memphis Grizzlies where the two sides were chirping regularly.
The Lakers and Rockets play each other one more time in Houston on Jan. 29, which is over a month away, but there will surely be no love lost when this matchup takes place. It was a rare occurrence to see a head coach exchange words with LeBron, but it is good to see Ham stand up for himself and his players.
Ham: Lakers got ‘glimpse’ of their athleticism against Rockets
The game against the Rockets was heated, but the Lakers were able to come out with the win. That being a game where everyone was healthy and available outside of Gabe Vincent, to the delight of Ham, he believes that they got a ‘glimpse’ of their athleticism. The team’s offseason was positive through their ability to retain and add wings to the roster, which was finally on display.
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