The Los Angeles Lakers fell to 0-2 after another disappointing outing against the Phoenix Suns on Friday night. After a promising first quarter, things began to fall apart in the second and a moment on the bench between Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard became the lightning rod of the night, a microcosm of the early season struggles of the team.
Going to the bench after a timeout was called, Davis and Howard exchanged words and even some slight shoves, having to be separated by teammates. No punches were thrown and the two seemed to be on the same page after, but it was still a low moment for a team not playing to expectations so far.
Howard would open up about the incident after the game, and made it clear that there are no lingering issues between he and Davis.
“We just squashed it right then and there. We just had a disagreement about something else on the floor. So we’re both very passionate about winning, we didn’t want to lose this game so we both are just very passionate it. We got it out the way. We’re grown men, things happen but we already talked. Squashed it. That’s my brother, that’s my teammate. That’s what I told him, I’ll always be no matter what. I’m always fighting for you where I can. We’re good. We squashed it. There is no need to try to make it bigger than something else.”
Davis also spoke on the confrontation after the contest, and echoed that the two are just fine after the incident. “We’re good,” Davis added. “Just two guys who are competitive who just want to win games.”
While it is early in the season, being in the midst of a bad showing at home can bring about all kinds of frustration across the roster and things simply boiled over in that moment for Davis and Howard. Even friends and brothers can have arguments and it is highly unlikely that there will be any long-term effects from this.
“We were upset about a play. Both had a disagreement. … We’re grown men. We try to figure things out. It just looked bad. We have no issues with each other,” Howard concluded.
“Nobody should try to me this into an issue between me (and Anthony Davis) or that I’m trying to cause problems for the team because I’m not. Everybody on the team knows what type of energy I bring every single night, regardless of if I’m on the bench or on the court or whatever, I’m the same exact person. I’m never going to change. I’ll always be up. I’ll always push my teammates. I’ll always be positive no matter what. I didn’t even say anything negative to him.
“That’s my brother. I’m not going to let nobody mess with our relationship.”
Frank Vogel discusses incident between Howard and Davis
For his part, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel didn’t shy away from the incident but knows the two are still close.
“Dwight and AD had a miscue on a coverage and they talked it out. But when you’re getting your ass kicked, sometimes those conversations get heated. But those love each other, they talked it out and that’s gonna happen from time to time. I’d rather our guys care than not care,” Vogel said after the contest.
Vogel also added that he handled things inside the locker room with Davis and Howard and doesn’t expect it to be an issue moving forward.
If things continue down this road for the Lakers, that moment will serve as the thing everyone will go back to as how this team failed. But make no mistake that Davis, Howard and the rest of the Lakers will do everything possible to ensure things turn around immediately.
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