Lakers' Isaiah Thomas, Julius Randle had heated exchange and Luke Walton loved it
Walton said as long as they're open-minded and figure things out, he loves the passion
The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the better teams in the league since the start of 2018, but they were not able to pick up a victory on Thursday night. Even though the Golden State Warriors were shorthanded, they still had Kevin Durant, and the to a 117-106 victory.
It was a fairly close game most of the way, however, and that led to some frustration on the Lakers bench. At one point, cameras caught Isaiah Thomas and Julius Randle arguing intensely on the bench, to the point that teammates had to step in to separate the two and calm things down.
The two did seem to settle whatever the difference was a short time later, as they dapped each other up on the bench.
After the game, Lakers coach Luke Walton wasn't upset that his players were arguing during the game, saying that as long as they're open-minded with each other and figure things out, he loves the passion. Via ESPN:
"I didn't see what it was about; I like it though," Lakers coach Luke Walton said. "I told them afterward, I love it. As long as they're open-minded and whatever they were arguing about, they get it figured out. We have been trying to get our guys to talk [on defense] all year long and if it is a heated conversation, that means it is two people that are passionate about something and we will take that on our team any day."
Randle also said it was no big deal, saying they were just trying to get the best out of each other.
"Ah, man. It was great, honestly," Randle explained when asked what happened. "We expect a lot out of each other and it was just communicating, man. We want to win, we expect to win these games and we expect each other to play at a certain level, so it was just us being teammates. There's nobody I'd rather go to war with than IT. So it's nothing personal, we're just trying to get the best out of each other and win the game."
Thomas, likewise, wouldn't divulge what the argument was over, but said he was just trying to be a leader.
"I'm a leader," Thomas later added about how the younger players have taken to his vocal leadership. "It's not me getting after anybody, it's just me leading. If I see something, I'm going to say something, that goes vice versa, if they see something they should say something. That's just how it's supposed to be on a basketball team, so there's no calling nobody out, no getting on nobody, just doing what's best for this team."
While it may not be a great look for cameras to catch teammates going at one another on the bench, it really isn't that big of a deal -- especially if it's a one-time thing. Now, if players are screaming at each other every night, and it's continuing into the locker room or something, then yeah, that's a problem. But two guys having an argument in a close, intense game? That happens all the time, and is usually just a sign of two people really wanting to win.
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