Following a loss to the Golden State Warriors Saturday night, a few veterans reportedly had some pointed words for Luke Walton after growing frustrated with the lack of clarity in their roles on the team.
Afterwards, Lance Stephenson took to social media to say he wasn’t involved and on Tuesday, right before the Lakers tipped off against the Indiana Pacers, Michael Beasley released a statement to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, while JaVale McGee straight-up denied the incident:
“This past Saturday after the Warriors game, Coach Walton and our team had a conversation after a tough loss. Despite reports to the contrary, there was nothing physical between Coach Walton, me, or any other teammate,” Beasley said. “I’ve sat back in the past when stories have been twisted and misreported, but I won’t do that this time. I respect Luke and I respect this team. We are trying to win a championship together.”
It was also reported that center JaVale McGee was involved in a combative verbal exchange directed at Walton, but McGee told Yahoo Sports that was “fake news.”
After shootaround Tuesday, Walton also addressed the situation.
Here's the full quote from Luke Walton about the reports of postgame confrontation after losing to Golden State pic.twitter.com/NTm8KmxWZo— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) February 5, 2019
So, a couple things: Using the phrase “Fake News” only make you look more guilty of whatever it is you are accused of. Using that phrase unironically is never a good look. Just my two cents.
Beasley and Walton’s approach to moving on from this little bit of drama is the correct one to take. They are both mature enough to address whatever happened, and as such are likely mature enough to leave it in the past. Over the course of an 82-game season, these things happen all the time. The exchange being made public is a lot more unusual than the exchange itself.
If the involved parties got their message across and everyone listened properly, chances are the Lakers will be better off from this whole thing. What the Lakers couldn’t afford was allowing these concerns to fester and eventually blow up after passing a point of no return.
The Lakers have games to focus on and a spot in the postseason to fight for. Actually playing basketball will be a nice and welcomed distraction from all the rumors, speculation and drama that’s engulfed the organization as of late.