Throughout his NBA career, Oklahoma City Thunder centre Steven Adams has never been an active trash talker.
Rather than running his mouth like many others in the league, the Kiwi goes quietly about his work. But speaking to ESPN's Zach Lowe on his podcast The Lowe Post, the 26-year-old hinted at why he keeps his trash talking to a minimum, recounting an exchange with fellow big man Jonas Valanciunas during a game between the Thunder and the Toronto Raptors earlier in his career.
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"There was a bit of back and forth in the game, and I was getting a bit excited," Adams said.
"I don't usually trash talk, I don't say anything usually; just a bit of banter here and there. I forgot my words exactly, but I basically told him: 'you ain't about this life. You eat with a knife and fork, I eat with my bare hands' sort of thing.
"I said that at the free throw line and I felt cool in the moment. I felt great. I was like 'that was so sick, that just came out of nowhere. You're brilliant' but then afterwards I was like 'ah it's pretty lame' – I was criticising myself immensely."
The exchange came shortly after Adams has agreed to a lucrative extension with the Thunder in 2016, which he detailed in his 2018 book 'My Life, My Fight'.
"He didn't know how to respond to that because it was so dumb, but it got him to shut up for a while, so I guess it worked," he wrote of the interaction. "I decided to retire from trash talking after that game and go out on a win."