The NBA playoffs haven’t started, in earnest, but one star player is already bothered by comments made by one of his teammates directed at an opponent.
Kevin Durant of the Nets stepped up to his press conference Tuesday night after Brooklyn dispatched the Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-in game to clinch a the No. 7 seed and secure a date with the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. His teammate, guard Bruce Brown, had already been by the podium just minutes earlier.
“What did Bruce Brown say when he got up here?” Durant asked reporters gathered for the press conference. “He said something I didn’t like, somebody just told me.”
Brown had been asked about the key to slowing down a Boston team (51-31) that earned the No. 2 seed behind the play of star swingman Jayson Tatum and guard Jaylen Brown. Because the Celtics are likely to be without center Robert Williams III, who had surgery at the end of March to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, Brown said he thought it would be best to focus on neutralizing Boston’s front court.
“We can’t let Tatum get 50,” Brown said. “We got to be physical with them. Now they don’t have Robert Williams, so they have less of a presence in the paint, and we could attack Al Horford and (Daniel) Theis. So them not having Robert Williams is huge.”
When told of his teammates comments just minutes earlier, Durant was noticeably irked by them.
“That’s caffeine pride talking,” Durant said. “He takes something before the game. Those two dudes (Horford and Theis) can do the same stuff. It ain’t going to be that easy, I tell you that.”
Game 1 of the Nets series against the Celtics starts Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
“We respect our opponents,” Durant said. “We don’t need to talk about what we’re going to do to them. I just don’t like that, but that’s how Bruce is. He comes in and keeps the same energy throughout the whole season. But we don’t need to say (expletive) like that. Let’s just go out there and hoop.”