Infotainment Factory: Lakers coach involved in heated verbal exchange

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Saturday, 2 February 2019

Lakers coach involved in heated verbal exchange


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Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton has reportedly been involved in an "emotionally-charged" verbal exchange with several of the team's veterans.

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the exchange took place following the Lakers' 101-115 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on Sunday afternoon.

"In the postgame locker room, Luke Walton preached to players on playing unselfishly, sources said, when several veteran players snapped back," Charania tweeted.

"The veteran players raised their voice on topics of Walton's plying time distribution and rotations, sources said.

Lance Stephenson

"Veterans, including (Michael) Beasley, JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson, challenged Walton in the postgame locker room, sources said. Those involved were separated before anything escalated."

According to Charania, the Lakers' hope is that the clash between the veterans and Walton will "help cleanse issues within the team".

The Lakers, who have struggled in the absence of LeBron James, who sat out the loss to the Warriors due to "load management", have endured a rollercoaster season so far.

In James' first season with the franchise, there has been speculation over several players potentially being traded, perhaps heading to the uneasiness in the locker room.

LeBron James

The trade speculation has reached fever pitch with the trade deadline just days away following New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis' trade request.

Davis is understood to have his sights set on joining James and the Lakers, but the Pelicans have been unwilling to accept the Lakers' trade packages thus far.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, as of Saturday, the Lakers' first offer to the Pelicans included Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Beasley and a first-round pick.

Along with speculation about the roster, there has been talk that the Lakers brass is split on whether Walton should be the coach of the team going forward.

Magic Johnson

Walton was originally the hire of Jim Buss and ex-general manager Mitch Kupchak, but was inherited by president of basketball operations Magic Johnson when he took over the role in February 2017.

After the Lakers got off to a slow start in November, Johnson reportedly admonished Walton for the team's sluggish start to the season.

Former Golden State Warriors coach and current ESPN commentator Mark Jackson is one of the favourites to replace Walton if he is relieved of his duties, with former Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd and ex-Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue also mentioned due to his connection with James.

Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton has reportedly been involved in an "emotionally-charged" verbal exchange with several of the team's veterans.

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the exchange took place following the Lakers' 101-115 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on Sunday afternoon.

"In the postgame locker room, Luke Walton preached to players on playing unselfishly, sources said, when several veteran players snapped back," Charania tweeted.

"The veteran players raised their voice on topics of Walton's plying time distribution and rotations, sources said.

Lance Stephenson

"Veterans, including (Michael) Beasley, JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson, challenged Walton in the postgame locker room, sources said. Those involved were separated before anything escalated."

According to Charania, the Lakers' hope is that the clash between the veterans and Walton will "help cleanse issues within the team".

The Lakers, who have struggled in the absence of LeBron James, who sat out the loss to the Warriors due to "load management", have endured a rollercoaster season so far.

In James' first season with the franchise, there has been speculation over several players potentially being traded, perhaps heading to the uneasiness in the locker room.

LeBron James

The trade speculation has reached fever pitch with the trade deadline just days away following New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis' trade request.

Davis is understood to have his sights set on joining James and the Lakers, but the Pelicans have been unwilling to accept the Lakers' trade packages thus far.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, as of Saturday, the Lakers' first offer to the Pelicans included Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Beasley and a first-round pick.

Along with speculation about the roster, there has been talk that the Lakers brass is split on whether Walton should be the coach of the team going forward.

Magic Johnson

Walton was originally the hire of Jim Buss and ex-general manager Mitch Kupchak, but was inherited by president of basketball operations Magic Johnson when he took over the role in February 2017.

After the Lakers got off to a slow start in November, Johnson reportedly admonished Walton for the team's sluggish start to the season.

Former Golden State Warriors coach and current ESPN commentator Mark Jackson is one of the favourites to replace Walton if he is relieved of his duties, with former Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd and ex-Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue also mentioned due to his connection with James.

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