Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard argument not uncommon in NBA, says Tyronn Lue
The NBA is only a week into it’s 2021-22 season, but there’s been no shortage of drama around the league. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks got their NBA championship rings and proceeded to defeat Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets. Ben Simmons returned to practice with the Philadelphia 76ers, proceeded to get kicked out, and then had a confrontational yet healthy meeting with Joel Embiid and Doc Rivers. None of that got more attention than the heated exchange between Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard in the Los Angeles Lakers‘ game against the Phoenix Suns.
In the middle of what was turning into a blowout loss, Davis aggressively approached Howard as the team headed into a timeout. Davis clearly wanted to discuss something in the last few plays that upset him with Howard. Howard, on the other hand, was already upset after a bad pass from Rajon Rondo, the team not getting calls from the officials, and multiple defensive possession where the Suns scored easily.
Davis appeared to grab the sitting Howard, who then stood up. The two proceeded to push each other and aggressively argue about whatever it was that upset the two of them.
Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard got into it and had to be separated by their Lakers teammates 😳pic.twitter.com/fyfxBtf0oO
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 23, 2021
Dwight Howard spoke with members of the media after the game and shut down any concerns about the incident with his Lakers teammate
“We squashed it right then and there,” Howard explained. “We just had a disagreement about something that was on the floor. Shoot, we’re both very passionate about winning. We didn’t want to lose this game, so we both were just very passionate. We got it out the way. We’re grown men, things happen. We already talked, squashed it, no issues between me and him.
“That’s my brother, that’s my teammate. That’s what I told him. I’m gonna always be here for you, no matter what. I’m gonna always fight for you, do whatever I can to help this team win, and he said the same thing. We’re good. There’s no need to try to make this something else.”
"We squashed it right then and there…we're both very passionate about winning. That's my brother. That's my teammate."
– Dwight Howard on courtside spat with Anthony Davis
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 23, 2021
Obviously, it blew up as a potential big deal in the moment due to the personalities that were involved as well as the visual from an outsider’s perspective. Albeit not really close, some people compared to the heated exchange between Draymond Green and Kevin Durant years ago that many felt ultimately led to Durant’s departure from Golden State. Not that it would’ve led to either player’s departure, but it was an obvious scene in an otherwise bad performance for the team.
Kevin Durant & Draymond Green get into a heated exchange after Draymond failed to get a shot off at the end of regulation during the Warriors loss to the Clippers. pic.twitter.com/uYROz4bld1
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 13, 2018
LA Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue, didn’t make too much of it. Lue played for the Washington Wizards with Michael Jordan and the Lakers with Kobe Bryant. He coached LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love with the Cleveland Cavaliers before moving onto Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with the Clippers. Tyronn Lue has had to deal with his share of big personalities, but said it’s not uncommon to see exchanges like this between teammates, regardless of whether they’ve played together for years or are still trying to build a relationship with one another.
“I don’t know [them], so I don’t want to speak on them, but I mean, any time you’re competing, you always wanna win, so it’s not a bad thing,” Tyronn Lue explained when asked how often something like this happens on NBA teams. “It’s not like they’re not close or good friends. Sometimes in the heat of the battle, anything could happen. In my 23-24 years in the NBA, it’s common for that to happen. So most of the time you don’t want it to happen in public, but it happens and you just move on. So it’s not a big deal.”
Even though it was never officially confirmed by Lue, reports out of the 2016 NBA Championship run for the Cleveland Cavaliers stated there were a number of exchanges, including one between Tyronn Lue and LeBron James at halftime of Game 7, where Lue told James he needed to do more than what he’d already done.
“Just two guys who are very competitive who just wanna win games,” Lakers star Anthony Davis added his take on the incident.
When asked about it further, Davis clearly wanted to move on from the non-story.
Some other examples include incidents between…
Chris Paul and James Harden:
Harden and CP3 getting into it on the bench. #HardenVol2 #james #JamesHARDEN #harden #Rockets #rocketsvsjazz #rocketsjazz #JazzVsRockets #JazzNation #Jazz #utahjazz #donovanmitchell #CP3 pic.twitter.com/rufeytICZU
— PressCAPLOCK (@Presscaplock) May 5, 2018
Markieff Morris and Archie Goodwin, although this one appeared to get a little physical:
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) February 11, 2016
These incidents between Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard happen in the NBA, NFL, and on any other competitive sports team. Even though Lakers legend Magic Johnson attempted to claim he’s never seen anything like that happen, you know it’s happened if you’ve ever played a team sport before.