After Game 1 of the NBA Finals, in which the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in overtime, a trash talk precedent may have been set for the rest of the series, though perhaps not as humorous or cunning as some of the stories from Bird and Jordan.
The incident started in the closing seconds of Cleveland's 124-114 overtime loss Thursday night when Thompson was called for a flagrant 2 foul against Shaun Livingston. He grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed free throw in the final seconds of regulation with the game tied, then ran toward midcourt as if he was running out the clock and thinking Cleveland had a one-point lead.
So much for these NBA Finals being a mutual admiration society affair between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the Cavaliers' performance has given fans hope that this series could be more competitive than originally predicted.
In the wake of Tristan Thompson being fined $25,000 for shoving the ball in Draymond Green's face and failing to leave the floor in a timely manner when he was ejected at the end of Game 1, it's quite clear that the emotions will spill over into Game 2 on Sunday. "And I dealt with that last night", he said. "It's something you definitely don't want to have in the National Basketball Association championship".
Stephen Curry, who led the Warriors with 29 points in the opener, says his team will be more aggressive in keeping James from comfortable situations.
And there's another Cavs headache - Durant and everybody else getting better - which they wanted to show in Game 2 Sunday, when they sought to keep their home-court advantage. "I don't know why I got thrown out". "Not for myself or for my teammates [specifically] but just playing on his team". You play on his team, and you're playing with the best player in the world and you get to witness some great historic things and be a part of it.
LeBron also brought back the shorts for Game 2. Green, who's never one to back down from a challenge, said he's more than willing to do just that - so long as he doesn't lose any money in the process. "JR is one of the four guys left from the 2016 [team], as you know. I got to take my hat off to him".
Durant has scored 20 points in every Finals game he has played in - in 2012 with the Thunder (five games), last season (five games) and now this time around.
"The best thing he can do is just go out there and be himself".
"He's got a lot going for him already". However, his injury has worsened despite his intent to play in Game 2.