Lakers' Dwight Howard 'Squashed' Issue with Anthony Davis After Bench Altercation

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVOctober 23, 2021

ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 9: Dwight Howard #39 high-fives Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Five of the NBA Finals on October 9, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard said the issue that led to a sideline altercation with teammate Anthony Davis during Friday night's loss to the Phoenix Suns was quickly "squashed."

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

Dwight Howard said that he and Anthony Davis “squashed it” after their bench disagreement <a href="https://t.co/VOtnyoo6V8">pic.twitter.com/VOtnyoo6V8</a>

Howard and Davis got in to a verbal confrontation on the sideline that briefly turned physical before other Lakers jumped in to separate the pair during a timeout.

Both Davis and head coach Frank Vogel downplayed the issue, too.

"When you're getting your ass kicked, sometimes those conversations get heated," Vogel told reporters. "Those guys love each other. They talked it out. And that's going to happen from time to time. I'd rather our guys care than not care."

Davis added: "It's over with. After the situation happened, me and DH, we talked about it and we left it at that."

Lakers legend Magic Johnson wasn't so quick to dismiss the discontent, though:

Earvin Magic Johnson @MagicJohnson

The <a href="https://twitter.com/Lakers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Lakers</a> have a team issue and basketball issue.

Growing pains were always expected after L.A. went through a massive roster overhaul during the offseason. It takes time for players to settle into their new roles, especially when so many of them were go-to players in their respective primes and are now being asked to fill a niche.

The Howard situation seemed a bit different since he helped the Lakers capture the 2020 NBA championship before leaving in free agency to join the Philadelphia 76ers last season. He returned in August and seemed like one of the additions who could make a seamless transition.

While it's unclear what caused the Howard-Davis spat to escalate, James explained it's important to handle that type of stuff right on the spot like they did.

"That's what real men do," the four-time NBA champion said. "They don't let it linger. They say what you got to say and you talk about it and you move on. And that's what they did tonight."

The schedule makers did the Lakers no favors with games against the Suns and Golden State Warriors, two potential contenders in the Western Conference, right out of the gate, but the slate does get easier in the coming weeks, and that should allow L.A. to start finding a rhythm.

Los Angeles returns to action looking for its first win of the campaign Sunday night when it hosts the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center.


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