The Los Angeles Lakers may have come up short in their home loss to the Phoenix Suns, but that wasn’t the only thing that people were talking about after the game. There was an incident in the fourth quarter that involved a little scuffle between Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Suns guard Tyler Ulis, and as things tend to do these days, the discussion quickly became one about Lonzo Ball.
The rookie point guard has been under fire lately for his poor shooting, which has opened up a fresh round of criticism of his unorthodox form. However, against the Suns, Ball took some heat for not getting involved in the fracas with the rest of his Lakers teammates.
As the pushing and shoving were going down, Ball nonchalantly strolled past and walked towards the Lakers bench, drawing the ire of fans for not standing up for his teammate.
"It's the NBA. People ain't really gonna fight, so I ain't trying to get no tech."- Lonzo on why he didn't get involved in the skirmish (via @SpectrumSN)
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) November 18, 2017
On one hand, it’s a bit strange that a young man is being called out for NOT getting into a physical altercation. Still, his decision to walk away was extremely noticeable, partly because the rest of Ball’s Lakers teammates rushed over to defend Caldwell-Pope.
As Ball explained above, he didn’t perceive his teammate to be in a truly dangerous situation, and with his team trying to make a comeback, decided against picking up a technical foul. That’s a reasonable explanation, even if it looked as though he was turning his back on his team in the moment.
Of course, Ball was essentially in a no-win situation. Had he gotten involved in the scuffle then he would be criticized for not keeping his cool and escalating the situation. He probably did the right thing, but the amount of attention being brought to the moment just goes to show how much attention Ball has on his every move.
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