The NBA season is just under a week old and we already have our first players' beef of the season, Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets and Josh Smith of the Detroit Pistons are locked in a war of words.
The Nuggets notched a 89-79 season opening victory over the Pistons on Wednesday and after the game Faried was asked the key reasons behind the win, Faried then made some brutally honest statements that caused quite a stir in the Detroit locker room.
The Nuggets power forward let reporters on a little secret to the Denver game-plan, which turned out to be the first shot fired in what has become a war of words between the players, Faried explained:
"Josh Smith, we let him keep shooting. And he ended up with 25, but he still kept shooting. He shot them out of the game,"
Josh Smith has been heavily criticised throughout his 10-year NBA career for not just his volume of shots, but his shot selection. For someone who possesses the incredible athleticism at 6 ft 9, the 28-year-old often drifts out to the three-point arc and fires up unwarranted shots.
Smith started off very well in the first quarter going 6 for 10, but he rapidly cooled off and finished 3 of 12 which allowed Denver to get back into the contest and eventually complete the comeback.
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Sensitive to his shot selection
Smith is rather sensitive to criticism about his shot selection, maybe its down to the fact he has shot 27.9% from three point range in his career, but after being relayed Faried's comments it riled him up to retaliate.
Vincent Goodwill was available to document Smith's reaction and he didn't hold back:
"I don't respond to nobody with dreadlocks who plays basketball."
Smith can't wait to play the Nuggets again and he is certainly looking forward to battling with Faried, Goodwill also tweeted the Detroit Star's other thoughts:
The comments by Faried were obviously not with the intention to antagonise his opponent, he simply told the truth, through Smith's track record the Nuggets recognised that allowing Smith to shoot too much was a recipe for success.
It has also been joked around that Faried has cost many other opponents of the Pistons from this point forward, Feldman wrote: "Right now, all of the Pistons’ future opponents are telling Faried: 'Shhhhh.' If Smith ever gets wise to why opponents leave him open outside the paint, he might stop falling for it and taking—and bricking—so many jumpers."
Faried hasn't responded to the retaliation by Smith but it will be very interesting if he does. The hard working, effort player isn't one to demand the spotlight so we might not here of this developing rivalry until the Nuggets meet the Pistons again on February 6th.