Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton is none too pleased with the skirmish between his players and Milwaukee Bucks players on Friday night that resulted in 2 of his players being ejected.
Walton had harsh criticism for officials and also alleged that a Bucks employee involved in the scuffle “put his hands” on one of the Lakers players.
“Don’t touch my damn players,” Walton said. “Because if that’s OK, I’m sure we can find a couple people here in L.A. that want that job working for the Lakers, too. That’s not right.”
The scuffle started when Lakers guard nick Young was fouled hard by Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon in the 3rd quarter of Milwaukee’s 107-103 win over Los Angeles at Staples Center in LA.
Young pushed Brogdon after the foul and then Bucks center Greg Monroe and Lakers Brandon Ingram got involved.
Several other players joined in the confrontation which was broken up by officials. Young, Monroe and Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell were all ejected.
Walton addressed the melee in a lengthy postgame rant.
“Obviously, I don’t want anyone to throw punches or get hurt,” Walton said.
“I just watched [the replay]. I’m going to need an explanation on it because it made no sense to me. They told me that D’Angelo got kicked out for escalating the situation. But D’Angelo only responded after Monroe had grabbed Nick by the neck and thrown him. If D’Angelo didn’t push him, I would’ve been pissed off at D’Angelo. He did the right thing.
“So for the NBA to say that the two of them did the same thing and just canceled each other out is absolute crap to me because D’Angelo just shoved [Monroe] in the back; Monroe grabbed [Young] by the neck. I don’t know if he was mad that [Ivica] Zubac was kicking his butt all night long out there. But you grab someone by the neck? That’s not right. And then Monroe went and slapped Brandon in the face. So he did all that and he got the same penalty as when D’Angelo did it for shoving someone in the back that was a teammate. So that’s crap to me.”
Walton then asserted that a Bucks employee got involved in the scuffle.
“And then watching the tape, one of their employees is on the floor, and he grabs Brandon by the jersey and shoves him — not holding him back, shoves him — and that doesn’t get addressed either?” Walton asked. “If there’s nothing wrong with that, then I have no problem finding some people to hire on our staff.
“The next time we get in a skirmish, I’ll keep all my players back because the fact that they don’t get in trouble for that, the refs don’t say anything about that, and he puts his hands on one of our players? He works for them. He can touch their players all he wants.”
Ingram chimed in about the incident: “I know there’s security around, but I’ve never seen that before. It’s whatever.”
The scuffle seems to have unified the Lakers even more.
“I love the way the young guys stepped up for me,” Young said. “As a team, the whole coaching staff, players, we’ve got each other’s backs. That’s unity. That’s a team.”
“It brings you closer as a team” Lakers forward Larry Nance said.
” It lets you know that if you’re out there, I’ve got your back no matter what. Obviously, you never want to see anybody lose any money, never want to see any fights on the basketball court, but when something like that does happen, it’s good to see everybody come together to protect our guy.”