Kings guard Isaiah Thomas took a shot at Celtics guard Jerryd Bayless after the two were involved in a minor skirmish during Boston's 99-89 home win on Friday.
"I don't like him," Thomas said, according to the Sacramento Bee. "End of story. He's a fake tough guy."
The post-game blows remained one-sided, as Bayless opted against lobbing any verbal volleys.
“Ironically, we played AAU together,” Bayless said, according to MassLive.com. “We were on the same AAU team together. It’s stupid, but it happens.”
Both Thomas and Bayless received technical fouls for their roles in a fourth quarter incident. With a little more than five minutes remaining in the game and Boston leading 93-77, Bayless came off a screen to shoot a pull-up jumper, which was contested by Thomas.
Bayless fell to the ground during his follow-through and earned the foul call from the officials, and Thomas stood over him with one leg on each side of Bayless' body for an extra second or two. Bayless took the action as an insult, and pushed Thomas away from him as he tried to get up. Thomas responded by stepping over a seated Bayless to confront him, and Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, as well as multiple members of the Celtics, stepped in to separate the two players.
Nothing further developed between the two players and Boston held on for the victory.
If the "fake tough guy" call-out sounds familiar, that's because Thunder forward Kevin Durant used the same phrase to describe Heat forward Chris Bosh in 2011.
"I was talking to my teammate and [Bosh] decided he wanted to put his two cents into it," Durant said, according to the Associated Press. "I'm a quiet guy, a laid-back guy, but I'm not going to let nobody talk trash to me. He's on a good team now, so he thinks he can talk a little bit. There's a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he's one of them."
In a 2012 interview with 103.3 FM in Dallas, then-Mavericks center Brendan Haywood said that the NBA was full of "fake tough guys."
"It is a physical game and sometimes guys get testy with elbows, throwing forearms," Haywood said, according to SportsRadioInterviews.com. "No one throws any punches out there. NBA guys? We are not about that. It's all WWE to us. We're fake tough guys. No one throws any real punches."
This marks the second time this week that a Kings player has taken a shot at an opponent during a post-game interview. On Monday, Cousins called out Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy following some chippy play during a Chicago victory in Sacramento.
“He’s a clown, and he’s scared,” Cousins said, in post-game comments recorded by CowbellKingdom.com. “I wouldn’t even waste my time on him if I ever saw him outside of the gym. He’s a clown.”
On Tuesday, Dunleavy took the barb in stride.
“I would like to respond but clowns can’t talk,” Dunleavy said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “So I’ll mime or make him some animal balloons or something. Oh, man. That’s the epitome of the pot calling the kettle black. Honestly, I’ve never been called that before. I guess there’s a first time for everything.”
Bayless finished with 19 points (on 7-for-9 shooting) and four assists for Boston. Jared Sullinger led the Celtics with 31 points (on 14-for-24 shooting) and 16 rebounds.
Thomas tallied 24 points (on 9-for-23 shooting) and six assists for Sacramento. Cousins added 31 points (on 11-for-19 shooting) and 16 rebounds in a losing effort.
Boston improved to 18-33 with the win. Sacramento dropped to 17-33 with the loss.
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