Clippers coach Tyroonn Lue has no incentive to talk about what's going on in Laker-land, but that's exactly what he did in a recent chat with the media.
Speaking on the viral sideline spat between Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis, Lue downplayed the notion that it will have any kind of long-lasting impact on the team.
“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.”
While much speculation was being shared on just what went down between the heated exchange, it seems both players (at least, on the surface) have moved on from the ordeal.
“We squashed it right then and there,” Howard said. “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.”
Dwight and Davis were teammates during L.A.'s 2020 Championship run, so they have experience playing together.
And while sideline altercations like that are always going to draw attention, and it definitely did in this case, it speaks volumes that both of the guys were able to work things out in a civilized manner.
Still, the Lakers have a lot of work to do on the court, and they're going to need everybody to play together if they want to capitalize on the opportunity they have.