Unfortunately, the biggest news coming out of the Los Angeles Lakers’ home opener against the Houston Rockets was the scuffle that occurred. Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo and Chris Paulall got multiple-game suspensions as a result, and tension between the sides is still lingering.
One person who didn’t care for the interaction was Rockets big man and long-time NBA enforcer, Nene. The 17-year veteran is injured for the time being, but he did not like what he saw from the Lakers during that skirmish and let it be known.
According to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Nene called the Lakers cowards and believes they attacked Paul unfairly:
Nene, now with the Rockets, described the Lakers-Rockets altercation to The Undefeated as, “Two against one. A coward move.”
While there is no doubt that there were two Lakers throwing punches and just one person on the Rockets, describing it as two against one is a bit of a stretch. Paul and Rondo have a history, and that was a one-on-one affair.
Ingram undoubtedly ran back in and escalated the situation, but his frustrations were more with James Harden and the officials.
The Lakers wanted to build a team that was not only big on versatility, athleticism and playmaking, but they also wanted to add toughness and have an edge. Sometimes that can spill over the line and that was the case on Saturday night where multiple things combined to help it boil over.
This team refuses to be a pushover which is a good thing, but fights ultimately hurt as now they are down two of their primary playmakers for the next few games. With this incident, and now Nene’s words, expect plenty of animosity and intensity when the Lakers and Rockets meet again Dec. 13.