Everything is fine (.gif) in Los Angeles. After reports surfaced that Lakers head coach Luke Walton and Michael Beasley — and some other players — got into a heated argument after L.A.’s loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, things have reportedly been settled between the two parties.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Walton and Beasley talked it out and the team is hoping they grow from their emotional and animated vent session:
Players and coaches cooled off before the incident escalated into anything physical, and there was genuine hope around the Lakers that this was what this team needed to cleanse their issues. Beasley is among players who prefer clarity on their role and to be given confidence by Walton, sources said. Beasley and Walton spoke afterward, a source said, and moved past the incident.
“They needed to talk things out,” another source said. “They needed it — and it will help them.”
Beasley’s frustration reportedly stemmed from the lack of clarity on his role with the team, which is understandable. Over the last five games, Beasley has started two games. He’s also played less than 10 minutes in two of those games.
However, not all of the blame should fall on Walton for Beasley’s constantly changing role. The only reason Beasley started was because Kyle Kuzma was dealing with a nagging hip injury. Coincidentally, when Kuzma returned to the starting lineup, LeBron James also made his return, leaving Beasley with the leftover playing time he saw earlier this season.
Walton can’t control his team’s injuries beyond managing their minutes. He can, however, communicate with his players on why he’s making the changes he is and what he expects from them.
It’s no coincidence that Josh Hart and JaVale McGee, who have both been sporadic starters this season, were named as the other players that were vocal about their frustrations with Walton’s lineups and rotations. Injuries or not, that has to be frustrating for any player, especially if they’re supposedly being left in the dark.
Hopefully Walton learns his lesson and the Lakers can come out of this a better team. If not, it’s going to be a long season.