Oklahoma City Thunder center Steve Adams couldn't savour the game one victory over the Golden State Warriors for long as his post game comments brought a storm the Kiwi's way.
The 22-year-old recorded an impressive double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds to help the Thunder take an early advantage in the Western Conference Finals.
However, in an interview with ESPN's Chris Broussard following the 108-102 victory, Adams referred to Golden State's guards as "quick little monkeys" to rub more than a few people the wrong way.
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The Thunder's pivot is, without a doubt, one of the best emerging centers in the league. He can get it done on both ends of the floor and in a side that is dominated by Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, Adams has found a way to impose himself on games regardless.
That doesn't negate a severe error in judgement here. Having moved to America from his native New Zealand some four years ago, it appears like Adams is still learning subtle differences in culture.
His comments could certainly be deemed as racist, but the seven-footer was quick to clear up any malice once he was alerted to how his comments had been construed.
Adams told USA Today Sports his comments were "just a poor choice of words."
"I wasn't thinking straight," Adams said. "I didn't know it was going to upset anyone, but I'm truly sorry. It was just a poor choice of words. I was just trying to express how difficult it was chasing those guys around."
His apology looks a sincere one and had he worded it better, it would have actually been a pretty nice compliment to the Golden State backcourt.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had 51 points and 19 rebounds between them last night; of course Adams is going to feel like he's run the gauntlet after trying to contend with them. He's surely not the first to feel that way.
Adams resided in New Zealand until he was 18-years-old and, in part, he insists a difference in dialect and cultures were to blame for this unfortunate mix-up.
"It's just different, mate," he told USA Today Sports. "Different words, different expressions and stuff like that. But they obviously can be taken differently, depending on which country you're in. I'm assimilating, mate, still trying to figure out the boundaries, but I definitely overstepped them tonight."
Game two between the Warriors and Thunder takes place at the Oracle Arena on Wednesday evening. The home side will be hoping to make their home advantage count before they head to the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Sunday.
Adams will be hoping to continue his fine postseason form and perform a little better on the mic next time.