- Chris Vivlamore The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Mike Budenholzer said he exchanged test messages with Dwane Casey and apologized after the head coaches had an expletive-laden exchange at the end of Friday night’s game in Toronto. The coaches of the Hawks and Raptors both used the F-word caught on television broadcasts.
“The end of a game,” Budenholzer said Saturday before the Hawks hosted the Trail Blazers. “It’s competitive. A little bit frustrated with a couple things. I’ve exchanged texts with Dwane. I’ve apologized. They play hard. Their players play hard. I have a lot of respect for them, a lot of respect for Dwane. It’s really kind of a non-issue to be honest with you.”
The Raptors closed out the 111-98 victory when Raptors’ rookie OG Anunoby stole a lazy pass from the Hawks’ Isaiah Taylor and took it all the way for a breakaway dunk.
Budenholzer had some angry words for Anunoby on the ensuing possession as, this time, the Hawks successfully dribbled out the final meaningless seconds.
According to a person familiar with the situation, Anunoby had a derogatory word for Budenholzer after the game.
Casey was seen to yell “F*** you” at Budenholzer in a local broadcast as the coaches did not exchange postgame pleasantries. The Atlanta broadcast showed Budenholzer returning the same insult.
Casey was asked about the confrontation following the game and defended Aunuoby.
“I love coaches but one thing I don’t want you to do is say something to my players,” Casey told the Toronto media. “I understand the situation, but we weren’t trying to run the score up. They were trying to score, and we were trying to play defense.”
Budenholzer said Saturday that he’s team’s poor play did not contribute to his end-of-game frustration.
“The guys did a lot of things that were positive,” Budenholzer said. “We dug ourselves a hole in the first half. I give Toronto a lot of credit with the way they played. They were aggressive. They played well. They are a good team. There is a reason they are at the top of the Eastern standings. Could we play better? Do I get a little frustrated with some of the things we could do better? Sure. I was pretty pleased with the way we played in a competitive environment.”