Luke Walton knows tensions can boil over on an NBA court, but he still has a message for other teams: Keep your hands off his players.
Late in the third quarter of the Bucks’ win over the Lakers on Friday night, Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon committed a solid foul against Nick Young — and the Los Angeles wing immediately took offense.
Swaggy P shoved the Milwaukee rookie, and Bucks big man Greg Monroe responded by shoving Young. Then D’Angelo Russell got involved, and coaches from both teams made their way onto the court to break up the fracas:
“D’Angelo only responded after Monroe had grabbed Nick by the neck and thrown him,” Walton said. “So if D’Angelo didn’t push him, I would have been (mad) 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.”
Walton also was infuriated that the officials did nothing about a member of the Bucks’ security team who came onto the court and shoved Ingram during the exchange.
“If there’s nothing wrong with that, then I have no problem finding some people to hire on our staff (for the) next time we get in a skirmish,” Walton said. “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 (Milwaukee’s) players all he wants. Don’t touch my damn players. Because if that’s OK, I’m sure we can find a couple of people here in LA that want that job working for the Lakers, too.”
One imagines Walton will face a stiff fine from the league for his postgame comments, and the players involved in the skirmish could face additional discipline, as well. If there’s a silver lining in all this, though, it’s kind of nice to see Walton stick up for Russell. The second-year player is struggling of late as Los Angeles experiments with different lineups, with his status as the team’s point guard of the future seemingly up in the air.