Five minutes, 14 seconds into Sunday’s showdown between the Thunder and Heat, two of the respective team’s big three got into a war of words. Tempers flared. But the fireworks flamed out after only a few dirty looks.
Kevin Durant and Chris Bosh were both slapped with technical fouls.
After the game, both elaborated on the incident, with Durant taking exception to Bosh’s antics.
The incident began after Bosh delivered a hard foul to prevent Thunder guard James Harden’s fast-break layup. Durant, after trailing the play, shouted to Harden. Bosh then chimed in.
“He was telling Harden to dunk on me,” Bosh said. “He said dunk the next one. I expressed that, no, he’s not going to dunk that. And he expressed, yes he is. We just kind of went back and forth. I don’t think it was anything to get a tech over. It was just talking.”
Video replay showed Durant starting to walk away before Bosh began talking. Durant then stopped and barked back.
“I was talking to my teammate and he decided he wanted to put his two cents into it,” Durant said. “I’m a quiet guy, a laid back guy. But I’m not going to let nobody talk trash to me. He’s on a good team now so he thinks he can talk a little bit. But it’s a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he’s one of them.”
Rarely has Durant gotten in an opponent’s face as he did Sunday. The fourth-year forward typically plays the role of peacemaker. But this time, Durant was sending a message to the suddenly star-studded Heat.
He wasn’t backing down.
“I’m no punk,” Durant said. “I wasn’t even talking to him, first-off. He decided to butt in. I’m not just going to let that slide, especially in our house. He’s not one of those guys that I look at and say he has a rep for talking back to guys or always getting into it. He’s a nice guy. He’s not one of those guys. So I’m not going to let that type of person say something to me like that.”
Durant said he and Bosh don’t have a history of bad blood, even calling the Heat forward a “cool dude.”
“But once I step on the floor, all that stuff goes out the door,” Durant said.
Bosh had no hard feelings.
“He stood his ground,” Bosh said. “I respect that.”