Shannon Sharpe’s sideline tirade directed toward the Memphis Grizzlies turned the retired NFL tight end and Undisputed co-host into a trending figure during Friday night’s NBA on ESPN matchup. Sharpe’s feud with the Grizzlies just before halftime distracted from what was an otherwise entertaining game and on Monday’s show, Sharpe opened Undisputed with an apology for his behavior.
During a three-minute opening mea culpa, Sharpe apologized to the fans, Jeanie Buss, the Lakers organization, the Grizzlies, Dillon Brooks, Ja Morant, LeBron James, his network and even his stylist for the unwanted attention.
His sincerity was in stark contrast to the childish non-apology Skip Bayless delivered two weeks ago for his insensitive Damar Hamlin tweet. Sharpe’s attempt to take on the entire Grizzlies team, a new take on man vs. bear (I’m taking the man), turned the host into a polarizing figure.
Afterwards, LeBron James leapt to defend “Unk” in his postgame press conference by telling the assembled media, “I ride with Shannon 365 days — 366 on a leap year — 24/7. So that’s my guy. I always got his back. And he’s got mine. He can talk with the best of them, for sure.”
WTAs usual though, fireworks from the Undisputed co-hosts have been good for their show’s visibility. Still, there’s no doubt that if the host had been a non-celebrity fan, he probably wouldn’t have been courtside for the remainder of the game.