Report: Lakers veterans had 'emotionally charged' verbal confrontation with Luke Walton after Warriors loss

Yahoo Sports
Many veteran <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/la-lakers/" data-ylk="slk:Lakers">Lakers</a> players were involved in an “emotionally charged” verbal confrontation with Luke Walton on Saturday night. (Noah Graham/Getty Images)
Many veteran Lakers players were involved in an “emotionally charged” verbal confrontation with Luke Walton on Saturday night. (Noah Graham/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers have made it clear that they want to trade for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

As next week’s trade deadline rapidly approaches, it seems the uncertainty surrounding the potential blockbuster trade isn’t sitting well with certain players on the team.

Following the Lakers’ 115-101 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night in Oakland, several veteran members of the Lakers had an “emotionally charged” verbal confrontation with coach Luke Walton in the locker room, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

That confrontation, which included Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee, stopped just short of becoming physical.

In the meeting, which was described to Charania as a “heated scene,” Walton “preached to players on playing unselfishly.” That’s when multiple players “snapped back.” Those involved were separated before it escalated further.

According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, McGee, Stephenson and Beasley were the focus of the “playing unselfishly” message, which they clearly didn’t take well.

The Lakers have reportedly made a “lowball” offer for Davis already, which included Beasley and Rajon Rondo, among others.

The fight on Saturday wasn’t limited to the trade, however.

Players “raised their voice on topics of Walton’s playing time distribution and rotations,” per Charania.

McGee scored just nine points in 10 minutes on Saturday, and Beasley scored just six points in seven minutes. Stephenson finished with 10 points in 24 minutes. All three of them came off the bench.

The Lakers have gone just 7-12 since Christmas Day — when LeBron James suffered a groin injury. James missed the next 17 games before returning on Thursday, though he didn’t play on Saturday. The loss to the Warriors marked their fifth in their past seven games.

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