The Los Angeles Lakers
After suffering a 115-101 loss to the Warriors on Saturday night, tensions reportedly flared in the locker room between Lakers players and head coach Luke Walton.
As uncertainty surrounds Lakers into deadline week, several veterans -- including Michael Beasley -- had an emotionally-charged verbal exchange with head coach Luke Walton postgame tonight, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium. It stopped short of turning physical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 3, 2019
Walton was said to have been critical of some of the Lakers' veterans for contributing to the Lakers’ "downfall" by not playing as a team and making poor decisions in crunch time. Michael Beasley and JaVale McGee were amongst some of the players that took action following the feedback.
Both players reportedly responded to Walton’s criticism by expressing frustration with their coach's inconsistent rotations this season.
Texted a few folks about whatever it was that happened in Lakers lockeroom tonight. One described it as typical lockeroom stuff & said, “It never got close to getting out of control, people are always emotional after a loss.”— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) February 3, 2019
What took place in the locker room should not come as a surprise. Given the climate of the league over the past few weeks, tensions and emotions are at an all-time high. Given the Lakers have been front and center surrounding Anthony Davis trade talks, many Lakers players don't know what the future holds, and it gets even more frustrating when the team cannot win without LeBron James.
The young coach has to deal with a lot of personalities in addition to all of the expectations and celebrity-hype that surround his team in LA. Walton likely did not help his situation by being critical of his team while they're going through a hectic time.