The NBA announced on Thursday morning that several members of both the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors would be punished for their role in the fracas between the two teams on Tuesday. For L.A., sophomore guard Talen Horton-Tucker will be suspended for the team’s game against the Miami Heat, while reserve center Montrezl Harrell — who was already ejected that night — will be fined.
Here is the full release, from the NBA:
Toronto Raptors guards DeAndre’ Bembry and Fred Van Vleet and Los Angeles Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker have each been suspended one game without pay and Raptors forward OG Anunoby and Lakers forward-center Montrezl Harrell have each been fined for their roles in an on-court altercation, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
Bembry, VanVleet and Horton-Tucker have each been suspended for leaving the bench area during an on-court altercation.
Anunoby, who received a technical foul and was ejected, has been fined $30,000 for initiating the incident by grabbing Schröder by the leg and recklessly flipping him to the ground after the two became entangled following a common foul committed by Schröder.
Harrell, who received a technical foul and was ejected, has been fined $20,000 for aggressively entering the altercation and shoving Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr.
The incident occurred with 2:24 remaining in the first quarter in the Lakers’ 110-101 win over the Raptors on April 6 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
Bembry will serve his suspension tonight when the Raptors play host to the Chicago Bulls at Amalie Arena. Van Vleet, who has missed the past two games with an injury, will serve his suspension in the next regular season game for which he is eligible and physically able to play.
Horton-Tucker will serve his suspension tonight when the Lakers face the Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Here are the suspension amounts:— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) April 8, 2021
Fred VanVleet (TOR): $146,552
DeAndre' Bembry (TOR): $11,980
Talen Horton-Tucker (LAL: $10,469
Toronto and the Lakers will receive a 50% credit of each suspension amount applied to the luxury tax (not hard cap).
In the case of Horton-Tucker, this is not really surprising. The NBA has a rule expressly barring players from leaving the bench during situations like this to prevent things from escalating, and both he and VanVleet did that. The league applies this rule universally, so it would have been more surprising if he wasn’t suspended than if he was.
Still, the fact that a technicality led to him being suspended while O.G. Anunoby — who kicked off the whole thing with his mid-game wrestling move — was not is a poor visual, if nothing else.
Not suspended. Suspended. pic.twitter.com/3k19z6SbHn— Anthony F. Irwin (@AnthonyIrwinLA) April 8, 2021
The Lakers will certainly miss Horton-Tucker’s on-ball creation against the Heat, but with newcomer Ben McLemore being cleared to play, this may give the latter a good opportunity to get thrown in as guard depth.
Harrell being fined is similarly unsurprising given his ejection, although since him getting thrown out for just trying to defend his teammate from being tossed to the ground was slightly questionable, there was perhaps some reason to believe that Tuesday would be the end of it for him.
20k for a light push to get people off his teammate? Come on man.. Players get more hurt from Flagrant 1 fouls in a NBA game. That fine is 2500... I know NBA doesn’t want a real fight and I totally understand that but these pushing fines for there version of escalating is crazy https://t.co/pRuJcHyqz5— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) April 8, 2021
But even with the financial consequences, it’s unlikely that he’s changed his mindset from the other night, when he said he’d do the same thing over again.
“That’s uncalled for, and I’m going to defend my teammates just like I would do any other time, just like the way I would do any other player or if it was to happen over again, man. That’s not the way you do things, man. He literally grabbed his leg and dropped him right on his back,” Harrell said Tuesday night. “It’s wrong, I don’t really think I did anything wrong to be ejected, but it is what it is.”
Temperatures rising between the Raps and Lakers. pic.twitter.com/NxVmy77CaP— TSN (@TSN_Sports) April 7, 2021
Schröder similarly thought Harrell’s ejection was “unnecessary,” but was grateful for the support.
“I fouled [Anunoby] but tried to still pick him up. It’s not a dirty play and I didn’t want him to get hurt, and he clearly didn’t get hurt, and I picked him up. And then after that he just shoved me on my back,” Schröder said. “With Trezz I would do the same thing for everyone in this locker room. We’re all brothers, family, so 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 that I would do the same thing for him. So I’m really thankful for that one.”
It’s safe to say that Harrell feels that same brotherhood.
“My beef was with anybody who didn’t have a Laker jersey on. That’s who my beef was with, simple as that,” Harrell said. “My teammate was swept off of us his feet onto his back after holding somebody up, so my beef was with anybody who wasn’t wearing a white jersey.”
And now, his beef will probably be with the league office, too. But if all this helps further solidify the Lakers’ chemistry and camaraderie, who knows? Maybe we’ll look back on this as a galvanizing moment for the team.