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Mitch Kupchak says Dwight Howard didn't yell at him after Howard's Game 4 ejection.
After Dwight Howard was ejected during the Game 4 loss to the Spurs, he walked past Mitch Kupchak and, upon receiving a pat on the butt from his General Manager, turned around and yelled in his direction. Predictably, this created a stir as fans and media wondered if Howard was chewing out Kupchak, and if so, the trouble this might signal. As expected, Kupchak was asked about this during Tuesday’s exit interview media session.
“You know something,” mused Kupchak. ”I went home that night and I watched “Rocky V,” with Rocky fighting the Russian. (Editor’s note: I immediately informed Kupchak that the movie in question was “Rocky IV,” because this is the knowledge I bring to the table at an exit interview.) And my phone rang, and somebody said ‘What did Dwight say to you?’
“I said, ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about.’
“They said, ‘Well, look on the TV.’
“So when there was a commercial, I went to the sports channel and I saw what they were talking about. I never heard a word he said when he walked past me. So until Sunday evening, around 9:30 or 10 o’clock at night, I didn’t know a thing about it.”
Mitch was later asked if he asked Dwight about the yelling.
“I did," said Kupchak. "He said he forgets completely what he said, but he was frustrated with the officials and turned around and apparently barked something back at the court.”
Obviously, we’ll never know with absolute certainty if Kupchak is being completely forthright about what he heard or what Dwight told him, but for what it’s worth, the scenario he described is exactly what I guessed. Howard didn’t appear to be directing his comments his comments at Mitch. If anything, he seemed to be looking past Mitch, who didn’t even blink as Howard yelled.
And even if Howard was yelling at Kupchak, it’s honestly not a huge deal. Dwight was clearly pissed off, and obviously venting out of visible frustration. Unless what Howard theoretically said was either unforgivable or constitutes a bell that can’t be un-rung, the exchange is easy to shrug off as heat of the moment stuff.
Put it this way: If Mitch could get past Kobe Bryant floating the organization bring back Jerry West during the Radio Tour summer, he can get over Dwight yelling at him for two seconds.
And by the way, I LOVE that Mitch waited until a commercial before flipping to the sports channel. Rocky and Ivan Drago were about to get down. Finding out if Howard was angry at him can wait.