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edge staff writer


Celebrity Slam - Suck my ... spit?

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We try our best to be equal opportunists here are Celebrity Slam. While we obviously focus on the worlds of music, film and television to find the famous folks we adoringly scorn, we’re not wedded to those particular realms. We aren’t “Movie Star Slam” or “Hip-Hop Star Slam” – we’re Celebrity Slam. And there are other celebrities out there.

Specifically, we’re talking about the world of sports. There are professional athletes out there – quite a few of them, actually – whose levels of global fame are as high as any A-lister. Some manage to get even higher. So when they commit a foul, we’re certainly going to call it.

And when a sports scuffle suddenly involves another non-athlete celebrity? Well, then that’s just a delicious Celebrity Slam sundae.

It starts with an on-court incident during the matchup between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers in L.A. Late in the fourth quarter, Lakers forward Brando Ingram gave Rockets guard James Harden a big old shove, earning himself a technical foul. Moments later, things escalated in a way they rarely do, with Houston’s Chris Paul and L.A.’s Rajon Rondo trading punches. Reportedly, Rondo threw the first punch.

As to why? Well, it turns out that Rondo spit on Paul. Paul responded with a finger to the face, which led to the subsequent punching. Ingram, Rondo and Paul all received suspensions (for four, three and two games, respectively).

“Wait a second,” you’re saying to yourself. “This is all well and good, but it isn’t exactly Slam-worthy material. Why would they share this story with us?”

Well, it all comes down to the actions of someone sitting courtside.

You see, courtside seats at Lakers games have long been a sort of celebrity badge of honor for famous sports fans. Some go just to see and be seen, but there are others who are serious fans. And in the case of Anthony Kiedis, perhaps a little TOO serious.

Kiedis – lead singer of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers – was courtside with fellow RHCP bandmate Flea and watched the whole brawl unfold right in front of him. He apparently took umbrage with how the Rockets were doing the home team and really unloaded on Paul as he was being escorted off the court. When a Rockets staffer approached him to tell him to keep it down, Kiedis proceeded to curse up one side of the man and down the other, so much so that security eventually escorted him from his seat, though he was apparently later allowed to return to his seat.

On its own, an NBA fight isn’t really much to write home about. Sure, they’re not super frequent, but these brawls are not rendered more interesting by their relative scarcity. Though one must admit that the introduction of the spitting element does take things in a more Slammable direction. There’s an overt, inherent disrespect to that action; spitting on someone is one of the most insulting things you can do to them.

But it’s really when you introduce Anthony Kiedis into the mix that this story becomes weird enough to warrant inclusion in this space. And yes, granted, it has been a bit of a slow week (aside from the dissolution of Pariana, and we’re not ready to lay down what will surely be the definitive post-mortem take on the Ariana Grande/Pete Davidson relationship), so the bar isn’t all that high. Certainly not as high as Kiedis apparently was.

Look, we’re all for impassioned support of your team. We’re sports fans – rooting for guys to do whatever they’re supposed to to various balls is fun. But when you cross that line into being abusive – so abusive that someone from the team feels obligated to come over and speak to you about it – that’s a bridge too far. And to then double down and transfer your already-misplaced rage to someone who just wants you to not be a jerk? Sigh. We thought you were cool, Anthony Kiedis, but instead, you’re someone who gets kicked out of a basketball game for screaming at the players. You’re THAT guy.

And while that guy is a lot of things, cool is not one of them. You know who didn’t get kicked out? Flea. That’s the moral to this story: be like Flea.


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