The Lakers mixed a bit of dissension with their latest routine victory. Trevor Ariza confronted Sasha Vujacic after a second-quarter sequence Tuesday against Chicago, according to the Orange County Register:
The discord arose after Ariza had the ball under the basket and passed it out to Vujacic on the wing. Rather than move it back to Ariza or another teammate, Vujacic just held it for a beat and then launched a 3-pointer out of the flow.
The shot missed badly, and Vujacic was soon called for a foul, leading to an automatic timeout with 8:37 left in the second quarter.
That's when Ariza got in Vujacic's face and stayed there as the players walked from the far corner of the court back toward the Lakers' bench. [Kobe] Bryant shepherded Ariza toward the end of the bench and stood in his way while Ariza, who has a temper that his furtive demeanor belies, remained so keyed up that he just kept pacing.
[Phil] Jackson benched both Ariza and Vujacic. As play was resuming, Jackson did something he never does: He left his usual area and walked to the end of the bench to address the matter directly with Ariza.
"It's just something that we want to keep internal, so I'd just as soon not talk about it," Jackson said after the game. "Trevor let it out, and it was unfortunate to see that on the court."
Jackson also made a point late in the game to take Vujacic to task for misreading a play on offense. Assistant coach Kurt Rambis also spoke to Vujacic at length during another timeout about proper decision-making on offense.
Neither Ariza nor Vujacic wanted to dwell on the incident afterward, although Vujacic managed to make clear where primary responsibility lay by saying: "I wasn't doing anything. I was playing basketball. … Have I done anything? Have I reacted inappropriately? Was I unprofessional?"
Said Ariza: "It wasn't anything big. We both want to win. We're out there and we're competing, and we just had a little disagreement, that's all."
• Lakers trouble behind the scenes (Orange County Register)