Though tempers have flared between Obi Toppin and RJ Barrett, the New York Knicks got a sigh of relief that the two have patched up their misunderstanding afterward.
Both Toppin and Barrett were seen having arguments with each other during a timeout with 7:48 remaining in the third quarter of their Friday matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The incident prompted Tom Thibodeau and the rest of the coaching staff to restrain the big man as things are going heated.
Shortly after it, Toppin and Barrett were spotted hugging like a mini-altercation didn’t happen between them.
“The cameras are everywhere. It probably happens more than people realize,” Thibodeau said, per New York Post’s Peter Botte. “Heat of the moment. It dissipated immediately. If there’s a flare-up, go talk to each other. When they walked out together, I knew they were fine.
“And just move on. Win the game. When everyone wants to win, sometimes there’s a difference of opinion. Just put the team first and that’s what they did.”
With Julius Randle missing the first game of his two-week absence due to a left ankle sprain, both Toppin and Barrett are expected to step up their game to carry the load of the two-time All-Star’s absence.
The two went on to respond and helped the Knicks to deliver a 130-116 statement win over the Cleveland Cavaliers – a potential first-round matchup for them in the East. Barrett chipped in 14 points, while Toppin got 12 points in 19 minutes of play in his first starting gig of the season.
Toppin quickly noted in postgame that what happened to them between Barrett is already resolved.
“We’re brothers. And we’re good. We discussed it,” said Toppin.