Raptors’ Serge Ibaka spokesman confirms Marquese Chriss said something that started fight
Per Joe Vardon of The Athletic, Ibaka did not bother to speak to the reporters after the game. But he did confirm through a spokesman that Chriss said not-so-nice things to him while he was lying on his back.
Serge Ibaka left the visiting locker room in Cleveland before speaking with reporters. Through a spokesman, he confirmed he was reacting to something Chriss said to him while he was lying on his back
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) March 12, 2019
The fight erupted in Monday’s duel at Cleveland. With one second remaining in the third quarter, Serge Ibaka and Marquese Chriss battled for position. Ibaka was hoping to catch the full-court pass while Chriss tried any means necessary to stop it.
The two got entangled and Ibaka subsequently fell down. As soon as he got up though, he pounced on Chriss and grabbed him by the neck.
Various replays reveal that Chriss stared at Ibaka while the latter was on the floor. It’s difficult to tell what he said or if he said anything at all. However, something definitely snapped in Ibaka which triggered him to go at Chriss.
And let the record show…Serge Ibaka ain't nothing to mess with. Watch your step, kid. You best protect your neck pic.twitter.com/DQXEfcLs3X
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) March 12, 2019
The two were ejected by the officials. Given that punches were thrown, the NBA will likely hand out suspensions and fines.
The Cavs won’t be affected as much by the Raptors. After all, they’re trying to clinch the top spot in the East, and losing one of their key players in Ibaka will be a big blow. Ibaka is averaging 15.2 points per game, 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Expect Marc Gasol to play more minutes while Ibaka serves a multiple-game suspension.