When Raptors forward OG Anunoby suplexed Dennis Schröder to the ground in a WWE imitation as the Lakers took on Toronto in Tampa Bay on Tuesday, Montrezl Harrell didn’t even stop to think. He immediately charged in to have his smaller teammate’s back, shoving any Raptors player nearby away from Schröder and earning himself an ejection. At the time, he said he wouldn’t do anything differently if he had it to do over again.
“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,” Harrell said then.
Schröder was moved, heading back to the locker room during the game to thank Harrell for having his back, and promising to do the same for any of his “brothers” on the Lakers.
On Thursday, the NBA gave him his chance. The league announced that Harrell would be fined $20,000 for “aggressively entering the altercation and shoving Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr.” When informed of that fact by reporter Dave McMenamin of ESPN after the Lakers’ Thursday game against the Heat, Schröder was surprised, but immediately promised to write that check for his teammate.
“Who got fined? Trezz?” Schröder asked, leaning towards the laptop speakers for clarity. “Oh, yeah we’re going to take care of that. He had my back, so we’re going to take care of that for sure.”
Amidst horrendous injury luck and mounting losses, the Lakers haven’t had a ton to feel positive about this week. At least this moment, then, was a nice reminder of this team’s camaraderie and bond, and that even two of the newest additions of the defending champs are integrating seamlessly into this locker room’s vaunted chemistry.