Tensions flared on Saturday night following the Lakers 115-101 loss to Golden State. According to multiple sources, a few of the teams’ veterans got heated after the game, namely at head coach Luke Walton for his rotations and minutes distribution.
Since LeBron James left, that has been the norm for Los Angeles, a team struggling to find their way without their biggest star.
Even still, it wasn’t necessarily anything on the court that started Saturday night’s altercation. It was something Michael Beasley said to Luke Walton that really set everything in motion and could signal a bigger problem for the Lakers.
The confrontation, earlier reported by The Athletic, was “heated,” according to a source but calmed down rather quickly. Beasley, who also got into a verbal spat on the sideline with Walton during the Lakers’ 138-128 overtime victory in Oklahoma City on Jan. 17, repeatedly referred to Walton as “bro” during the exchange Saturday, which touched a nerve with the coach, a source told ESPN.
This is a bad sign for the Lakers. If the players really are going around calling Luke “bro,” then it hints at the lack of respect they have for him in that locker room. Luke was obviously quick to call them out on it, but not without some push back.
If this kind of thing continues, don’t expect Walton to keep his job for very long. It’s something the Lakers can’t afford, especially at a time where they are trying to convince free-agent stars that they are the place to be,