Saturday night’s brawl between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets was the biggest story from the first week of the NBA season. Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul were all ejected and suspended multiple games for the infraction.
On Monday, Ingram spoke to the media for the first time since the extra punishments were handed out. The forward, whose push against James Harden in the fourth quarter catalyzed the fight, was apologetic, saying he will learn from his mistake.
Brandon Ingram on the suspension: “It was better than we expected. I’m happy it was only 4 (games). I have to control my emotions better.” He added that he apologized to his teammates.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 22, 2018
Ingram received the longest suspension of the three players, mostly due to his running into the fight between Rondo and Paul and throwing a punch at the Rockets’ point guard.
Rondo had a different answer when asked about the fight:
Rajon Rondo said he didn’t address his teammates about the fight. “Everybody knows who I am … I think they still respect me for what I do and what I bring to this team.” When asked what started it, he said, “Basketball. The game.” pic.twitter.com/yHfb2IWC0J
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) October 22, 2018
Ingram was visibly frustrated all game and let his emotions out in a way no one has seen from the third-year pro. He maintained that he would still always have his teammates’ backs in such situations but it appears as though he learned from his mistake, as well.
The Lakers will host the San Antonio Spurs on Monday without Ingram and Rondo. They will be replaced by Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball in the starting lineup.