Joe Ingles admits he never expected to actually make it to the NBA, let alone star for one of the best teams in the competition.
But the Australian forward is doing just that, and then some.
Ingles has unintentionally made a name for himself as one of the league's top trash-talkers, carrying on from the mental victory he took at the hands of Steven Adams' Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2018 NBA Playoffs.
In the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, Ingles' Jazz beat the Thunder 4-1. Throughout the series, Ingles verbal jousting with Thunder counterpart Paul George became more and more of a talking point as the series went on.
Speaking on the Woj Podcast, Ingles said he's found it funny that he's picked up the reputation he has this season.
"I can play the same way and talk to everyone in the arena – coach, other team, the players – where it does make me laugh a little bit in my head when it's happening, but some guys just get so rattled by it and then the rest of the game they're so worried about me or trying to hit me or push me or screen me that it ends up being an advantage for us.
"I don't go into a game thinking I'm going to go to blah blah blah and say this.
"I'm not always the first one to start talking. I do hear a lot and I'm always going to have my teammates' backs.
"Things just happen I guess."
Be it opposing players, coaching staff or fans, no one is safe from Ingles. In the Jazz's close win over the Detroit Pistons earlier this week, Ingles blew a kiss to a mouthy opposition fan after hitting a clutch three-pointer late in the game, before telling the fan he was talking too much.
Recalling the series against the Thunder, Ingles said the storyline of his trash talking of George was "hilarious" and it was something that just built over the series.
The pair had no history, but through each game, Ingles began to chip away at George a little more - and was able to back up his talk through his performances on the court.
"You can tell when someone's starting to get a little frustrated…it wasn't anything planned but as it built up, obviously you hear things, and I was getting asked about it in my media availabilities and it became way more out of proportion than I thought me playing in the NBA would ever get to."
Being off court of the interview didn't stop Ingles from running his mouth, calling out Pistons star forward Blake Griffin as a flopper after the five-time NBA All-Star hitting the deck after some contact from Ingles during their match.
"He's like defined and has muscles popping out of every part of his body. There's no way I'm going to make him fall like that."