Shannon Sharpe apologizes for heated altercation with Ja Morant, Grizzlies

Shannon Sharpe used his television platform Monday to apologize for the altercation between himself and members of the Memphis Grizzlies that went viral two days earlier during a game at at the Los Angeles Lakers' Arena.

Before "Undisputed" – the daily FOX Sports debate show between Sharpe, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, and Skip Bayless on FS1 – began in earnest, moderator Jen Hale turned the floor over to Sharpe.

"I want to apologize for my behavior," Sharpe said. "You know, guys, for the last six-and-a-half years responsibility and accountability. And I take full responsibility for what transpired."

As Memphis' Dillon Brooks and LeBron James battled for position right in front of Sharpe's courtside seat late in the first half Friday, the television personality and Brooks exchanged words. The chatter kept going on the final Grizzlies possession.

Shortly after the halftime buzzer sounded of an eventual 122-121 Lakers victory, it escalated to Sharpe yelling at Brooks and Ja Morant.

Morant began approaching Sharpe, but Grizzlies teammate Steven Adams stepped in front of him and the altercation swelled with security becoming involved and players and coaches from both teams trying to separate the involved parties. Others, including Morant's father Tee Morant, also became entangled.

Sharpe, who sported a colorful cardigan, was escorted from the floor. From the arena tunnel, he told ESPN: "They didn't want this smoke. … I said he was too small to guard LeBron. He said, '(expletive) me.' I said, '(expletive) you' back. He started to come (at) me and I said, 'You don't want these problems.' And then Ja came out of nowhere talking. He definitely didn't want these problems. Then the dad came and he obviously didn't want no problems. But I wanted anything they had. Don't let these fools fool you now."

On Monday, Sharpe was more conciliatory.

"It does not matter what Dillon Brooks said. It does not matter how many times he said it. Me being the responsible person, me having the platform I have, and having so many people look up to me, I was wrong," Sharpe said. "I should have lowered the temperature in the arena. Instead, I turned the temperature up and I let it get out of hand."

During his lengthy apology, Sharpe atoned to teams and individuals. He specifically mentioned:

  • The Lakers organization, owner Jeanie Buss and the Buss family

  • The fans in attendance and those who were watching on television. "That's not what you paid for and that's not what you tuned in to watch. Shannon Sharpe should have been mentioned as someone that was at the game. Not someone who let his emotions run hot and get out of hand."

  • The Memphis Grizzlies, Brooks and Morant

  • His stylist, "Hollywood," with whom he attended the game.

  • James "because he supported me through thick and thin." James said after the game he stood beside Sharpe "365 days a year" and Sharpe apologized for putting James in the situation of having to do that.

  • His own family

"I'm never going to be too big to say I'm sorry," Sharpe said.

Contributing: DaMichael Cole, Memphis Commercial-Appeal

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Shannon Sharpe apologizes for altercation with Ja Morant, Grizzlies