Ja Morant's friend escorted off court after verbal altercation with Indiana Pacers
Tempers flared between the Memphis Grizzlies' win over Indiana Pacers during the third quarter Sunday, and it resulted in a fan being escorted from courtside.
During the third quarter at FedExForum, Ja Morant and Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard started talking trash to each other, and players from both teams got involved. At one point, Pacers forward James Johnson started yelling at Davonte Pack, Morant's friend who was sitting courtside.
Pack took a few steps and gestured at the players and was eventually escorted off by security. Pack is a frequent presence at Grizzlies games, sitting next to Morant's father Tee.
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Ja Morant and Andrew Nembhard got into it and eventually James Johnson got involved. Looks like Ja Morant’s friend Davonte Pack was escorted off the floor. pic.twitter.com/etvu1yIXHZ
— Damichael Cole (@DamichaelC) January 30, 2023
SHARPE APOLOGY:Shannon Sharpe apologizes to Dillon Brooks, Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies for verbal altercation
Morant said that he approached Nembhard after hearing him tell his father to shut up. That eventually led to more Pacers players intervening, including guard Chris Duarte.
"I heard my pops ask (Nembhard) did he say shut up so I was trying to figure out who he was talking to. Obviously, I saw it was him so I approached him seeing what he was on. I checked his temperature, he didn't have a fever, then (Chris) Duarte came over and tried to push me. I ended up breaking it up and I told him stop pushing me. He said he was cool and when his teammates came over, he started talking."
It's the second time this month that a verbal altercation involving the Grizzlies led to a fan being removed. On Jan. 20, Fox Sports analyst Shannon Sharpe was taken off the court at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles after talking back-and-forth with Dillon Brooks, Ja Morant and Steven Adams. Sharpe apologized for his conduct.
Sunday's altercation came as the Grizzlies rallied from 16 points down to take an 80-79 lead at the end of the third quarter. The Grizzlies won 112-100 as Morant not only got his second consecutive triple-double but also the last laugh over the Pacers and security for ejecting Pack.
"Kicked my brother out. We got the W, so we kicked them out of the Forum too," said Morant, who had 27 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds.
This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Ja Morant's friend escorted off court after argument with Pacers