Fake news! Stephenson denies role in reported LA Lakers bust-up
Lance Stephenson told the media to "get the real facts" amid reports he was part of a furious bust-up with Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton following Saturday's loss to the Golden State Warriors.
The Lakers (27-26) slipped to a 115-101 defeat at the Oracle Arena in a contest that superstar LeBron James, recently returned from injury, sat out in order to manage his workload.
After the loss, reports emerged that Walton took aim at the experienced players on his roster over a perceived selfish approach.
Michael Beasley and JaVale McGee are claimed to have taken exception to Walton's criticism and countered by expressing concern with the coach's rotations.
Stephenson was also mentioned as being involved, but the 28-year-old labelled those suggestions "fake news" via a post on his Instagram story.
"[The] media decided to add Lance Stephenson. I'm in a very happy place, nothing but positive. If u going to write a story get the real facts please," he wrote.
Reports suggested several #LaLakers players were involved in a furious bust-up with head coach Luke Walton after their loss to the Warriors...— Omnisport (@OmnisportNews) February 3, 2019
But Lance Stephenson took to Instagram to deny his role...#NBA #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/A53oEJdldY
The Lakers went 7-for-28 from the field during a dismal late run that effectively cost them the game and Walton was unimpressed.
"Everything we talk about, everything we work on, we have to even do that much better," Walton said.
"It's natural when guys, if the other team is on a run or they step up their defense, try to go one on one. But that just makes the other team's defense better.
"So, we got to continue to be aggressive, attack but also to create for others."
Walton added that James, who only made his comeback from a groin injury that had sidelined him since Christmas Day on Thursday, may be rested periodically.
"A lot of it will be dependent on how he's feeling and what the schedule's like a lot of those times," he added.
"It's more just him being sore after five weeks of not playing basketball. It is a few days from our last game until our next one in Indianapolis, so when me and him spoke, it's 'as much as you want to play, let's make sure you're making the smart decision'."