Los Angeles Clippers forward Josh Smith and an unspecified assistant coach got into an obscenity-laced argument on Sunday as the media were waiting for coach Doc Rivers' postgame news conference to begin, according to a report.
Rivers did not divulge what the argument was about when asked during his news conference, but the Orange County Register said frustration boiled over and profanities and yelling by Smith could be heard inside the locker room.
"It's [like any] locker room after you lose and play like that," Rivers said. "Guys are upset. That's about it."
Los Angeles (6-7) has lost three straight and seven of nine after starting the season 4-0, and players were highly frustrated by their team's performance Sunday: a 91-80 loss at home to Toronto.
"We're pretty frustrated,'' Griffin said. "It's been three in a row, so I think it's pretty normal to be frustrated. But we can't let that frustration affect us negatively moving forward.''
The Clippers, who blew a 23-point lead in a 124-117 home loss to the Warriors on Thursday, sliced a 29-point deficit against the Raptors to 73-67 with a 17-2 run capped by Austin Rivers' short jumper with 9:26 to play. But that was as close as they got.
The only other time the Clips have been under .500 during Rivers' two-plus seasons as coach was after his first game on the job, which they lost to the Lakers before winning their next three.
J.J. Redick characterized the scene that played out inside the locker room after Sunday's loss as "loud noises."
"It's because we're losing," Redick told the Register. "Things happen during the game, and your frustration level increases or decreases based on the final result. It's a level of toleration you have either with yourself of other people. ... The end result dictates your mindset."
Smith is averaging career lows in points (4.9), field goal percentage (.356) and minutes (14.8) per game this season. He signed a one-year, veterans-minimum, $1.5 million contract with the Clippers in July.