The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday but that was far from being the biggest story of the game. In the game, the two teams got in an altercation in the first quarter that resulted in Montrezl Harrell and OG Anunoby getting ejected in the first quarter.
The altercation was sparked by a dirty play from Anunoby, who lifted Dennis Schroder to seemingly attempt an Angle Slam on Dennis Schroder.
The ejections were not the only punishment handed out as the league followed up the altercation with some fines and suspensions as well. Fred VanVleet, DeAndre’ Bembry and Talen Horton-Tucker were all suspended one game. Montrezl Harrell was fined $20,000 and Anunoby was fined $30,000.
These punishments are absolutely ridiculous for the Los Angeles Lakers.
I get that the league has protocols that it has to follow and it cannot make a special exception for the Los Angeles Lakers. Players are not allowed to leave the bench area during moments like this and that is exactly why THT, VanVleet and Bembry have been suspended a game (h/t Shams Charania).
I don’t love that THT is going to miss a game for an already depleted Lakers team, especially after a much-needed solid game against the Raptors that could have built momentum. But I get it.
What is absolutely ridiculous is the fine given to Montrezl Harrell. Harrell was fined $20,000 for being a good teammate. Granted, Harrell probably won’t end up paying a penny of that fine as his teammates will all pitch in, but the fact that he got fined $10,000 less than Anunoby is silly.
What Anunoby did was dirty, there is no way around it. This was not the case of an accidental elbow or unfortunate contact. This was not even the case of Anunoby simply disrespecting Schroder and causing Harrell to run in for his teammate.
This was a case of a player getting frustrated and literally attempting to hurt another player. I am sure Anunoby never intended to actually injury Schroder and his frustration got the best of him, but he still did it.
He picked Schroder up by is leg and threw him to the ground. And somehow that only warrants $10,000 more than Harrell, who ran in after the fact and did some shoving. You want to punish Harrell? Fine. But the severity of this fine compared to the fine that Anunoby got is absurd.
James Johnson got a $40,000 fine for the play below, and yet Anunoby gets less than that for literally picking Schroder up and slamming him to the hardwood.
Hypocrisy at its finest. At least Harrell will get the tab picked up by his teammates for doing the right thing after this dirty play.