Following a loss to the Golden State Warriors, there were reports about an incident in the locker room involving veteran players and Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton.
They suggested Michael Beasley and JaVale McGee were at the forefront of those voicing their displeasure with Walton on a multitude of topics, including rotations. It was the last thing the Lakers needed coming off a loss and amid ongoing trade rumors.
It wasn’t the first time a heated locker room meeting took place this season. Furthermore it did no favors to Walton, whose job security has been in question at numerous points.
This time however, the players themselves came out to refute the report, namely Beasley who released a statement to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports:
“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.”
Additionally, McGee also disputed what reportedly happened in the locker room following the loss:
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.”
Lance Stephenson was also said to have been disgruntled and involved in the heated exchange but he denied as much shortly after word began to spread.
In the end, the only people who know what really happened are those who were in the locker room. Perhaps this is damage control on the part of the Lakers who don’t want something like this public, or simply a case of someone overblowing the real situation.
Whatever the case, the important thing is that the Lakers use this as a way to come together in order to make the push into the playoffs.
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