Obi Toppin, Tom Thibodeau had an intense verbal altercation after playoff loss in Miami

Head coach Tom Thibodeau had benched Obi Toppin for the third and fourth quarters of a Game 4 loss in the team’s second-round NBA playoff matchup against the Miami Heat. The result handed New York a 3-1 series deficit, one loss short of elimination. Meanwhile, the decision not to play Toppin led to an out-of-character moment for the usually mild-mannered power forward. According to league sources who were present, once the final buzzer sounded Toppin aired his grievances to Thibodeau. The 24-year-old wants to play, and he wants to win. That evening, neither happened. An intense verbal altercation occurred between the player and coach as the group trekked to the Kaseya Center visiting locker room in Miami. It spilled into the postgame meeting once the doors closed.
Source: Fred Katz @ The Athletic

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Fred Katz @FredKatz
It’s time for the Knicks to make a decision on where Obi Toppin fits into their future.
Story (which I includes a poll of 15 people who work in front offices about what Toppin could be worth in an extension) on a pivotal offseason for the power forward:… PM
Sirius XM NBA @SiriusXMNBA
When he joined The Starting Lineup, @stephenasmith clarified his comments about Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau
@TheFrankIsola | @Scalabrine | #NewYorkForever PM
Steve Popper @StevePopper
Knicks draft analysis: Obi Toppin the key to any deals
The Knicks are pick-less this draft, and if they want to change that, it likely means moving Toppin.…5:00 PM

More on this storyline

On this occasion, as Toppin yelled at Thibodeau in front of teammates so fresh off a loss that they were still in uniform, assistant coach Rick Brunson stepped in to stand up for his boss. Toppin and Brunson got into it for a moment. Randle, Evan Fournier and Josh Hart next pulled Toppin aside to cool him off. The disagreement did not infect the Knicks’ culture. In fact, on the evening it happened, a league source told The Athletic that he believed it was more likely the fracas would give players a jolt after a spiritless loss. -via The Athletic / June 21, 2023
According to league sources in contact with the Knicks front office leading up to this February’s trade deadline, New York held onto Toppin tightly when asked about his availability. This group, on the whole, believes in him -via The Athletic / June 21, 2023
The Knicks have the most trade assets among teams that made the playoffs this past season. They had enough to acquire Donovan Mitchell last summer but ultimately chose not to top Cleveland’s offer for him. They can trade up to eight first-round picks this season as well as a combination of players like RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, and Obi Toppin. While the Knicks will be on the hunt for an All-Star, Lillard doesn’t seem like an ideal target. They don’t need backcourt help anymore with Jalen Brunson playing at an All-Star level. Their biggest needs are at the frontcourt, so it’s possible we see them pursue players like Jaylen Brown, Pascal Siakam, and Joel Embiid, should any of them become available. -via HoopsHype / June 7, 2023

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