LOS ANGELES -- It's early still, and the Lakers are a perfect 8-0 on the season. But co-captain Derek Fisher was not a happy man as he walked out of the Lakers' locker room following Tuesday night's ugly 99-94 win over the hapless Minnesota Timberwolves.
"The way we played tonight was irresponsible and it was reckless and it was disrespectful," Fisher said. "I can't get any clearer than that. There was an air of complacency, of arrogance, of 'we don't have to play as hard as the other team to win' that I didn't like tonight."
It was about as angry as the normally stoic Fisher has been after a game in a long while.
And it was clearly intended to be sent as a message to the rest of his team.
Asked whether he'd addressed the team to express his frustration about the way Tuesday's game was played, Fisher shook his head.
"I don't know. But I guess we'll read it and hear about it tomorrow," he said.
What exactly drew his ire?
"I don't even have to look at a stat sheet," he said. "I don't know what the numbers are, what the stats are, we just didn't play the game the way it was supposed to be played.
"I think prior to tonight we've done a fairly good job in respecting each opponent and each game for what it presents. Tonight we didn't do that. It's that simple."
While Fisher might not care about the stats sheet, it was telling nonetheless.
The Timberwolves outrebounded the Lakers 54-42 overall and 26-14 on the offensive boards.
The Timberwolves had 27 turnovers, but most of that damage was self-inflicted, as the Lakers had just nine steals.
As such, the game was needlessly close until the final minutes. The Lakers' starters had to play until the end of the game.
"We just finished [playing the game] and so obviously my emotions are higher now than they might be tomorrow, but that's just how I feel about it," Fisher said. "It didn't have to take place the way that it did. It wasn't the right way to play the game."
Ramona Shelburne is a columnist and writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow her on Twitter.