Luka Doncic, Luke Walton differ on substance of verbal dust-up
Luka Doncic and Luke Walton appeared to exchange some tense words during Wednesday’s showdown between the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings, but the two arrived at distinctly different perspectives on what transpired.
At the end of the third quarter of the Mavericks’ 130-111 road victory, Walton was assessed a technical foul. Footage of the incident suggests Walton had issues with how officials were favorably treating Doncic, who had 33 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in his return to action following a two-week absence due to an ankle injury.
Kings coach Luke Walton after picking up a technical in the 3rd quarter, calls over to Luka Doncic and says:— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) February 13, 2020
"Hey Luka, do me a favor, give him your autograph after the game. (points at official) – He's a fan, he's a fan of yours." pic.twitter.com/HU1SQ5oQe7
Walton’s words led Doncic to allegedly point at Walton and say, “Don’t do that.”
After the game, Doncic weighed in on the verbal dust-up, saying of Walton, “He said something that I didn’t like about me,” per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.
Walton, however, not only downplayed the exchange but even claimed he didn’t say anything to Doncic and that this was all a misunderstanding.
“I have all the respect in the world for him,” Walton said. “He got what he wanted tonight, wherever he wanted, so I wasn’t saying anything to him. I don’t know if he thought I said something to him, but he had a great game, he’s a great player and he led his team to victory. … I wouldn’t have said anything. What can you say?”
The situation obviously is a case of “he said, he said.” While it’s obvious from the footage that Walton was saying something amid getting T’d up, it’s not clear if he was saying something specifically to Doncic.
In the end, cooler heads prevailed at the time of the incident, which prevented any further escalation. It’s not surprising, though, that Walton attempted to downplay what transpired afterward despite Doncic’s completely different characterization of how things played out.