In Tuesday night’s NBA action, the Los Angeles Lakers took on the New York Knicks. It was a game that saw several of the team’s players hit the court, causing concern amongst fans.
One of those was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who hit the court following an attempted play on the ball by the Knicks’ Bobby Portis.
LeBron, Rondo confront Knicks’ Portis after play
The play involved a fastbreak drive for the Lakers early in the second quarter. As Caldwell-Pope had a clear path right to the hoop, he went for the layup.
As Caldwell-Pope was elevating for the score, the Knicks’ Bobby Portis attempted to swipe at the ball from behind. That swipe ended up being a hit on KCP that sent him crashing to the court. It kept him down for a little while after the fall.
Right after the play, LeBron James stepped to Portis to say something with regard to the play. After saying what he needed to, LeBron moved away and Rajon Rondo went up to talk to Portis as well.
Bobby Portis got ejected for this hit on KCP and LeBron had a few words for him. pic.twitter.com/IpECFxU3DI
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 8, 2020
Portis was ejected for a flagrant foul type 2. Caldwell-Pope was able to return to the game and contribute, finishing with 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting.
The Lakers ultimately won the game 117-87 behind LeBron’s 31 points. However, they may have lost star player Anthony Davis for a bit due to an injury when he landed on his back.
LeBron, Portis comment about the play postgame
King James had no problem calling out Portis after the game for what he felt wasn’t really a play on the ball. A reporter asked if LeBron felt it was a dirty play.
“It was [dirty],” James told reporters. “There was no play on the ball [by Portis]. I saw the windup happen before the actual impact. I saw the way he was chasing KCP down. And then the windup. I saw that play happening before it actually happened.”
James went on to explain what transpired when he confronted Portis after the play.
“I just voiced my words to what happened and then the refs came in between us,” James said. “But I knew it definitely wasn’t a basketball play.”
LeBron acknowledged that he thought Bobby Portis' swipe at KCP was dirty.
"There was no play on the ball. I seen the windup happen before the actual impact. I seen the way he was chasing KCP down." pic.twitter.com/ehocJPBp45
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) January 8, 2020
There are always two sides to each story, and the Knicks’ Bobby Portis doesn’t feel what he did was anything malicious towards Caldwell-Pope.
According to Ian Begley, Portis said “It wasn’t intentional at all. I went for the ball. Apologies to Caldwell Pope. Happy to see him back on the court and do his thing. My intent is never to hurt anyone or anything. Just tried to make a play on the ball.”