Scuffles and in-game fighting happen all the time in the NBA.
When tensions flare and emotions run deep, players on opposing teams can find themselves in aggressive altercations, which usually end in a technical foul or, in some cases, even an ejection.
But for Laker rookie Lonzo Ball, he wanted to no part in his team’s shoving match against the Suns. In the fourth quarter, with a little over 3 minutes to go, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Tyler Ulis got into a little scuffle, which escalated into a team-wide shoving match.
With seemingly everyone involved, Lonzo Ball was noticeably seen walking away from the incident, leaving his L.A. teammates in the dust.
Obviously, that’s not something that helps locker-room chemistry, as it can be seen as a form of betrayal by fellow teammates, and can even be taken as a gesture of disrespect.
According to Luke Walton, that sort of behavior inspired one teammate to reach out to Lonzo and have a conversation about the whole affair.
“Someone on our team talked with him,” Walton revealed after the Lakers’ practice Saturday, without disclosing who it was. “It’s all part of the learning process.”
And when asked to reveal who spoke to Ball, Walton said, “That’s a locker room thing, unless they want to share it. What our players talk about behind the doors I’m not going to repeat to the media.”
Walton responded perfectly in this scenario by not giving away too much information. What he did reveal, though, shows us that Lonzo’s behavior in that minor scuffle was taken pretty seriously by some of his teammates. For a rookie, especially one as revered as Lonzo, this is nothing that can’t be forgiven.
In the future, though, Lonzo should re-think the types of things he does (and doesn’t do) in the future.