After the Nuggets beat the Pistons on Wednesday, in a game where Josh Smith scored 15 first quarter points but shot just 3-of-12 from the field over the final three periods, Kenneth Faried gave his opinion on what Detroit’s primary problem was.
“Josh Smith, we let him keep shooting,” Faried said. “And he ended up with 25, but he still kept shooting. He shot them out of the game.”
A day later, Smith had plenty to say in his own defense.
From David Mayo of MLive.com:
“I don’t respond to nobody that has dreadlocks and plays basketball,” Smith said. “I don’t respond to people like that. The man’s a clown, man. Quote me on that, too.” …
The teams play again Feb. 6 at The Palace of Auburn Hills and Smith said he would remember Faried’s words that night.
“He knows it’s coming,” Smith said. “In order to make comments like that, you’ve got to be able to back it up, man. And we’re going to see what happens next time.
“I’m gonna have some words while I’m bustin’ his ass, you know what I’m saying? While I’m bustin’ his ass. I back up what I talk. So it’s going to be a pretty good matchup.” …
“He fears me,” Smith said. “He’s scared of me. So of course he’s going to talk about me in the newspaper. He’s not going to do it to my face. If you’ve got to hide behind a smart phone or a microphone or a recorder, so be it.”
On the one hand, you could see how Smith wouldn’t take too kindly to Faried’s remarks, because egos are large at the professional level, and no player wants to believe that a team’s strategy would involve goading him into taking as many shots as possible.
On the flip side, though, the level of trash talk Smith comes back with seems more than a little bit excessive.
Feb. 6 is a lifetime from now in NBA terms. It’ll be interesting to see if the animosity on Smith’s side is still there the next time he meets Faried between the lines.