The Athletic’s Fred Katz reported Wednesday that Knicks forward Obi Toppin got into an “intense” verbal altercation with head coach Tom Thibodeau after losing Game 4 of their second-round playoff series this season to the Miami Heat.
Toppin remained on the bench for the entire second half of the game (playing only six minutes overall), which apparently sparked his anger. Katz says the verbal altercation began when the team returned to the locker room after the final buzzer and continued behind closed doors during the Knicks’ postgame meeting.
Knicks assistant coach Rick Brunson also reportedly stepped in to defend Thibodeau and briefly bonded with Toppin before Toppin was dismissed by teammates.
This revelation comes after a report earlier this week suggested Toppin could be traded amid Knicks frustration with the role of him. Toppin, who has been off the bench basically all year and getting under 16 minutes a game, will be a restricted free agent in 2024 if the Knicks don’t extend his contract by this October.