A Houston Rockets rookie tried to trash talk Kevin Durant.
Two days later, Durant got the last laugh.
Royce White, the Rockets’ 16th overall pick in last year’s draft, took to Twitter following Game 5 to tease Durant and the Thunder about the team’s seven-point home loss.
“Y’all are looking SHAAAKYY BAAABYY” White tweeted to Durant.
That followed a tweet from White that read “And…that’s why you play the games. That @okcthunder team just looked shook. “They’re looking shaky baby.”
Following his team’s shoot-around Friday morning in Houston, Durant responded.
“Who is that?” Durant asked when asked his reaction to White’s comments.
Durant claimed he wasn’t aware of the comment and then asked again “Who is that?”
“I haven’t seen him on the bench,” Durant said. “I haven’t seen him on the bench. So, I mean, I’m not worried about guys that’s not even in our series. Ain’t that the guy that’s afraid to fly? Well I wish him the best, man, and if I see him next year I’ll let him know who we are.”
White, a 22-year-old forward out of Iowa State, lives with anxiety disorder and has yet to appear in a game this season with the Rockets. As part of his condition, White has a fear of flying. His anxiety aboard planes is among the reasons he spent most of the season away from the Rockets and in the NBA D-League while the two sides attempted to figure out a solution that will not negatively impact his mental health.
Durant went on to say that White’s comments have not supplied any additional motivation. The Thunder has lost two straight games entering Friday night’s Game 6 at Houston and now leads the best-of-seven series 3-2.
“I don’t get fired up off stuff,” Durant said. “I get fired up just by playing this game and enjoying the game. But like I said, I wish him the best. I wish he could have played. I wish he could have really felt this intensity in a playoff game. But I guess watching on TV is better.”