Kings guard Iman Shumpert had plenty to say during Sacramento’s win over the Trail Blazers last night.
He apparently had even more to get off his chest afterward.
Shumpert looked unhappy with Jusuf Nurkic‘s hard screen early in the game:
Then, Shumpert got into it with Portland coach Terry Stotts:
Shumpert even found beef wit the Trail Blazers’ security staff.
Jamie Hudson of NBC Sports Northwest:
Shumpert admitted he fed off of Portland’s team security, which had spoken with the Kings guard as the game became tense.
“He was a little passionate and you become part of the game… I’ll take whatever energy you give me. I was having a tough time shooting the ball and you know, he talked to me enough I made the next three. That’s what we needed at the moment… After that we rolled,” Shumpert said.
After the game, Shumpert went toward – but not into – the Trail Blazers’ locker room.
James Ham of NBC Sports California:
According to Shumpert, he wasn’t looking for a fight, just a discussion with Portland’s center about a few plays that took place during the game.
“Some stuff just needs to be between me and him,” Shumpert said. “A conversation between two men. At the end of the day, this league is a bunch of men. A bunch of great men off the court. Some stuff happened that we needed to have a conversation about.”
Outside of the locker room after the game, the Blazers team security told Shumpert that Nurkic was still showering and he would not be able to come out of the locker room and speak to him at that moment.
Nurkic, via Ham:
“I just said what I said. I’m not worried about him,” Nurkic said of the 28-year-old Shumpert. “I’m not worried about a guy who’s going into retirement soon.”
Shumpert is too young to be hearing about retirement. That is soooo disrespectful by Nurkic.
Though I believe Shumpert was genuinely trying to end the tension (by putting his foot down, of course), Nurkic only escalated it. Good thing they didn’t meet face-to-face after the game.
But they’ll cross paths again. Maybe Shumpert was heated just last night. Like all of us, NBA players go through moods. Or maybe this will be a lasting grudge.
We might next learn more April 10, when the Kings and Trail Blazers meet in their season finales.