The latest Los Angeles Lakers news is centered on D’Angelo Russell, who was recently fined by the NBA, together with teammate Nick Young and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Greg Monroe. All three were involved in an on-court skirmish that took place Friday at Staples Center.
It was in the third quarter of Friday’s game when the scuffle between the Lakers and Bucks broke out. Young, who tried to aggressively attack the rim, received a hard foul from Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon. The veteran responded by pushing the rookie and things got heated after this.
Monroe, trying to come to the aid of his younger teammate, jostled Young. This was when Russell involved himself by shoving the center, then he took a few steps back. Following this, other players on the floor also participated in the melee, but the referees did a good job in controlling them and pacifying the situation.
Unfortunately for Russell, Young, and Monroe, their actions led to them being ejected from the game. It was tough for both teams since all of them were playing well before the altercation. Los Angeles’ guards combined for 30 points while Milwaukee’s reserve center filled the stat sheet with 12 points, six rebounds, three assists, one steal, and three blocks.
As reported by Bleacher Report, on Sunday, the players were fined by the NBA. Monroe took the biggest hit because of contact “above the shoulders.” Young followed for starting the scuffle, then Russell for his involvement.
NBA announces that Greg Monroe, Nick Young and D'Angelo Russell have been fined. pic.twitter.com/bVdwnVejpL
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) March 19, 2017
Lakers head coach Luke Walton already aired his thoughts regarding the incident. After their 107-103 loss, he went on a tirade. He defended Russell and stated that his player “only responded.” The first-year head coach also thought it was unfair for the 21-year-old to receive the same penalty as Monroe, who he said “grabbed” Young by the neck and “slapped” Brandon Ingram. Walton went on to express disappointment about a Bucks security guard who pushed Ingram.
If Walton approved what Russell did, the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green did not enjoy it. The All-Star forward talked about it, although at first, it appeared as a subtle jab with no names mentioned. He said he was pissed off at this certain player, who looked like he wanted nothing to do with the scuffle.
It did not take long for Green’s statement to be deciphered. In a tweet by Monte Pool of CSN Bay Area, he revealed that it was Los Angeles’ Russell who disappointed the Warriors star.
— Monte Poole (@MontePooleCSN) March 18, 2017
During the Lakers’ practice in Los Angeles, ahead of their game versus the Cleveland Cavaliers, Walton was asked about this. The former Warriors’ assistant coach declined to comment, according to Mark Medina of Inside the Lakers.
“I’m not going to comment on it. If I hear from Draymond, then I’ll comment on it. I don’t see any of that stuff. I was proud of D’Angelo for getting in there and sticking up for his teammate,” Walton explained.
The Lakers’ Russell is yet to respond to Green, and he might not do it. There is a possibility he addresses the issue once asked by the media in the coming days. Los Angeles is experiencing dark days again and the issue with Russell was just part of the setbacks it has to deal with this 2016-17 NBA season.
As of this moment, Los Angeles is already eliminated from playoff contention. It was the first team to have been eliminated in the Western Conference. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Lakers will be absent from the postseason, and it is a new franchise-worst. The last time they made it was in the 2012-2013 season, where they were swept in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs.
[Featured Image by Gene Sweeney, Jr./Getty Images]