Somehow, LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers home debut wasn’t about the four-time MVPs first game in purple and gold. No — LeBron’s appearance was surprisingly overshadowed by the NBA’s first big brawl of the season.
In case you’ve been avoiding the Internet, here’s what went down. In the fourth quarter of the Lakers and Rockets tilt, Brandon Ingram pushed James Harden after being called for a foul. After some words were exchanged, Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul — who have long had a rivalry — had to be separated following Rondo allegedly spitting on CP3. The two then exchanged blows before Brandon Ingram could join the fray again. Subsequently, Ingram was suspended four games; Rondo three games; and Paul two games.
And, yes, it’s good for business.
That’s right. On a night where arguably the greatest player of all time made his debut with the most storied franchise in the league, it’s Rondo, Paul and Ingram throwing hands that led SportsCenter and was trending on Twitter. And it was exactly what the league needed to add even more spice to an already exciting season.
The NFL is nearly halfway through the season and ratings are up, sure, but it’s the NBA — which normally waits until Christmas to start getting more attention — that is stealing football’s headlines. Not to mention that the Dodgers — another Los Angeles-based team — just advanced to the World Series.
While the NFL might be the ratings king, it’s the NBA that has the most fun and unbelievable drama on a nightly basis.
This brawl just adds to the excitement, too. NBA fans have long loved the social media drama, the Woj Bombs and the pettiness of players, so fights were the next logical step.
But how should the NBA capitalize on these headlines? Simple. The league should take it a step further and allow fighting on the court.
Of course, we’re not condoning fist fights that could pour into the stands. But a few quick punches at an opportune time, while teammates hold each other back, will only add more excitement to a league teeming with it.
Will NBA commissioner Adam Silver ever let this happen? Of course not. But maybe — just maybe — players will take the competitive spirit into their own hands and start letting said hands fly.
Until then, we’ll just enjoy the aftermath of the biggest brawl of the young NBA season. And no, not even LeBron’s debut could be the big story of the start of the season.