Analyzing the roles Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo played in the Rockets-Lakers brawl
Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo certainly have plenty to answer for as the NBA sorts through video evidence
Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul got involved in a scuffle in which punches were thrown. Brandon Ingram even got involved in the melee in its final moments and threw a punch in Paul's direction. Following the game, Paul was adamant that Rondo spit on him during the fracas.
The latest video from the incident appears to show Rondo spitting in Paul's direction. With this new video coming to light, it is going to be hard for Rondo to prove that he unintentionally spit in Paul's direction. As you can see in the below video, saliva can be seen coming from Rondo's mouth and it appears that Paul moves his head to the side as if he felt it coming or some landed on his face.
In addition to the video clip above which has made waves on the internet into Sunday afternoon, Sam Amick of The Athletic has obtained a high-quality, slow-motion video which they believe proves that Rondo did, in fact, spit on Rondo. Despite their certainty, however, there still appears to at least be a chance that this was an accident.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the NBA will likely decide whether any players will be suspended Sunday before the Rockets face the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Wojnarowski also reports that the NBA is taking a closer look at the incident and Rondo will have to explain that he wasn't spitting at Paul and that saliva came out during the argument between the two players.
The league is also looking at a cut that Rondo suffered under his right eye in addition to giving consideration to the fact that he was wearing a mouth guard during the incident. One would think that would certainly make it tough to spit in Paul's direction, but the video clearly shows saliva leaving Rondo's mouth.
It's hard to imagine that both players won't be suspended. Even if Paul was provoked by Rondo spitting on him, the Rockets guard did get in Rondo's face and even swung at Rondo during the melee. It's also likely that Ingram will be suspended after he originally shoved James Harden then was pulled away by Lance Stephenson. However, Ingram ended up running back into the fray when Paul and Rondo got physical with one another.
With the expectation being that the league office will make a final decision on discipline prior to the Rockets' game Sunday night, fans won't have to wait much longer to find out what type of suspensions we could see from this incident.
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