Young teams always have to earn their treatment with the refs and it is no different for the LA Lakers. Luke Walton decided it was time to put some pressure on them and speed up the change despite the fact he knew it would cost him. As Walton said in his press conference (via ESPN) “Dave asked me about this pre-game and I wasn’t gonna say anything, I was gonna save my money, but I just can’t anymore”
In their dramatic overtime loss to the Spurs (read more about it here), the Lakers shot 26 free throws while the Spurs shot 38. Walton made it his point to comment on it at the press conference after the game. “Watch the play where I got a technical foul. Watch what happens to LeBron James’s arm…it’s the same thing that James Harden and Chris Paul shot 30 free throws on us the night before.”
Walton continued to emphasize that they sore a lot of points in the paint and don’t get points while doing so. “Watch how Josh Hart played this game. All he does is attack the rim. Zero free throws tonight. Zero! I know they’re young, I get that. But if we’re gonna play a certain way let’s not reward people for flopping 30 feet from the hole on plays that have nothing to do with that possession. They’re just flopping to see if they get a foul called” When asked about it, LeBron decided to keep his money.
LeBron James bites his tongue on the officiating that upset Luke Walton tonight pic.twitter.com/ONUUJWedMV
— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) October 23, 2018
Will this influence the refs? Maybe. I hope they just stop calling all the Harden and Paul fouls they so shamelessly hunt. One thing we know for sure, Walton will be paying a fine for speaking his mind.