Lakers’ Luke Walton defends D’Angelo Russell over Draymond Green’s criticism in his role in scuffle

EL SEGUNDO –The incident caused officials to eject Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell for what they called “escalating a fight.” Lakers coach Luke Walton praised Russell, Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr. and Ivica Zubac for standing up for Nick Young after suffering both a hard foul from Bucks guard Malcom Brogdon and a push from Bucks center Greg Monroe. While Walton questioned the validity of Russell’s ejection in the Lakers’ 107-103 loss to Milwaukee on Friday at Staples Center, the Lakers’ coach liked that Russell pushed Monroe away.

Apparently that gesture was not enough for Warriors forward Draymond Green, who told Bay Area reporters on Saturday that there “was one particular player that pissed me off, bad” for how they handled the situation. Bay area reporters indicated Green had criticized Russell.

“To me, it looked like he didn’t want no parts of it” Green said, “and it completely pissed me off.”

While Walton did not sound interested in debating a player he had coached as a former Warriors assistant and interim head coach, Walton disagreed with the premise.

“I’m not going to comment on it,” Walton said after Saturday’s practice. “If I hear from Draymond, then I’ll comment on it. I don’t see any of that stuff. I was proud of D’Angelo for getting in there and sticking up for his teammate.”

For what it’s worth, Green liked Walton’s impassioned criticism regarding the officials following Friday’s loss to Milwaukee said. As Green said, “That’s my dog.”

Walton disliked that Russell and Monroe each earned an ejection despite Monroe having physical contact with both Young and Lakers rookie forward Brandon Ingram. Walton also called out a Bucks security guard for grabbing Ingram’s jersey and pushing him away.

The NBA has been in the process of reviewing the incident, but Walton said the league has not yet contacted the Lakers. Nonetheless, the normally calm Walton captured how his anger level during games this season has either stemmed from a poor effort or unfair officiating.

“It’s important for them to know that,” Walton said. “Some of the times when I lose my cool, I want them to see it’s okay to lose it. I’m losing it to fight for them. I want them to fight for each other and fight for themselves and to fight for our organization so there’s sometimes I choose to lose it just to prove that point.”

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Lakers’ front office & coaches tell D’Angelo Russell to be aggressive regardless of role

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mmedina@scng.com. Subscribe to the “We Want Tacos” podcast on iTunes.

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