It should not be surprising, in these times, that Kevin Durant has a personal bodyguard. Nor is it surprising that the Nets hired the bodyguard, Antjuan Lambert, to give them more flexibility under league security guidelines. According to his LinkedIn account, Lambert has been Nets “director of security” since September 2019, shortly after the Nets signed Durant. He had previously had the same title with the Warriors when Durant played for Golden State.
But when Lambert ran on the court in Game 3 and confronted P.J. Tucker during an altercation with KD, the league decided to take action. According to the NBA, Lambert will not be permitted to work any more games inside Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum and will not be allowed courtside when the series returns to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Also, USA Today reports the league has “reprimanded” Lambert.
Video of the incident shows that Lambert actually making physical contact with Tucker, bumping and shoving the veteran who’s actually been friendly with Durant. News reports have identified Lambert as the security guard in black...
Per the NBA, Kevin Durant's security guard who made contact with P.J. Tucker on Thursday will not work any remaining games in Milwaukee and will not be in the court area in Brooklyn for the remainder of the series.— Stephen Watson (@WISN_Watson) June 12, 2021
Here is the moment he made contact with Tucker in Game 3. pic.twitter.com/gT5qoRD2sI
Kevin Durant and PJ Tucker got right into each other's faces. pic.twitter.com/wB4IvtAUxv— ESPN (@espn) June 11, 2021
The incident followed a foul call with 4:21 left in the third period when Tucker was called for a foul and the two Texas Longhorns went nose-to-nose.
Bucks director of team security Greg Jones then jumped between Lambert and Tucker, adding another shove. Jones appeared to be shouting at Lambert as refs took control.
The Bucks thinks the incident and resultant league action could be a rallying point for a Milwaukee comeback. The Bucks are down, 2-1, and Game 4 is Sunday afternoon.
“That sparks everything and kind of puts a battery in everybody’s back,’’ Bucks forward Bobby Portis said Saturday after practice. “Makes us go out there and play harder and it makes it just that much better that we’re at home too, so our home crowd can really lock in and get the juices flowing in the arena so we can have that home court advantage and feed off them.
“It was kinda crazy, he just attacked P.J.,’’ Portis added. “Most of the time, team security comes in and gets in between everybody, so (he) probably did cross the boundaries with that.”
Jrue Holiday added similar sentiments.
“He bumped Tuck kinda hard, though,’’ Holiday said Saturday. “I don’t know if he’s supposed to do that. I think when it comes down to it I’m here to play basketball and that’s not something I’m gonna worry about. I like the chippiness and the talking of KD and Tuck. I’m gonna back Tuck every time.
“I feel like that’s something the league has to deal with or the teams have to deal with. But it’s not really my job. But attacking Tuck? I mean, I don’t think anybody wants to attack Tuck. Tuck crazy.’’
Mike Budenholzer, the Bucks head coach, said initially he didn’t know who Lambert was affiliated with.
“To be completely frank and honest, in the heat of the moment, I have no idea who that guy is with or who he is affiliated with,” said Budenholzer Saturday. “It could be Fiserv Forum security, could be Bucks security, could be Nets security. I know enough to — I guess it sorted out — that it was Nets security, and in the heat of the moment you know that people are coming to try to de-escalate things and try to get things under control and not bump and escalate and have things become a bigger problem than what we’re trying to address, or de-escalate.”
Lambert is hardly inexperienced. In addition to holding jobs with the Nets and Warriors, The Athletic reports that he provided security for DeMarcus Cousins when Cousins played for the Kings. According to public records, Lambert held licenses in California to work as a security guard and to carry a firearm, The Athletic reported.
Following the incident, Fi-Serv Forum erupted in chants of F**k KD. The Nets, of course, lost to the Bucks in the last seconds of the game.
- After P.J. Tucker incident, Nets security guard tied to Kevin Durant is suspended for rest of series - Joe Vardon, Eric Nehm & Alex Schiffer - The Athletic
- Brooklyn Nets security guard won’t work in Milwaukee rest of series, league says, after Game 3 incident with Bucks’ P.J. Tucker - Tim Bontemps - ESPN
- ‘Crazy’ incident with Kevin Durant’s security guard has Bucks fired up - Paul Schwartz - New York Post
- NBA says security guard who bumped P.J. Tucker is benched for rest of Bucks-Nets series - Dennis Young - New York Daily News
- NBA disciplines security guard from Durant-Tucker skirmish - Steve Megargee - AP
- NBA reprimands Nets security guard who shoved Bucks’ P.J. Tucker during altercation with Kevin Durant - Jeff Zillgitt - USA Today
- NBA disciplines security guard from Durant-Tucker skirmish - Canadian Press