SACRAMENTO -- We’ve got a beef. Or, maybe a missed opportunity for a conversation between two competitors.
Following the Kings' 115-107 win over the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night at Golden 1 Center, veteran wing, Iman Shumpert ventured over to the visiting locker room to have a chat with Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic.
According to Shumpert, he wasn’t looking for a fight, just a discussion with Portland’s center about a few plays that took place during the game. The two exchanged a few words on the court during the first quarter when Shumpert attempted to go around Nurkic on a screen near the top of the key.
“Some stuff just needs to be between me and him,” Shumpert said. “A conversation between two men. At the end of the day, this league is a bunch of men. A bunch of great men off the court. Some stuff happened that we needed to have a conversation about.”
Despite the media’s attempts to sort out the situation, Shumpert wasn’t biting.
“Y'all can review the game tonight,” Shumpert said. “The Scores was on. The Scores won. Everybody’s got a TV to watch the game. I just wanted to have a conversation with the man. Nothing malicious. Nothing crazy. I didn’t go over there and bombard the locker room.”
Nurkic, 24, wasn’t available when Shumpert arrived, which helped defuse the situation. When asked about what was said on the court between the two, he didn’t exactly answer the question -- or put the disagreement to rest.
“I just said what I said. I’m not worried about him,” Nurkic said of the 28-year-old Shumpert. “I’m not worried about a guy who’s going into retirement soon.”
The two won’t have an opportunity to break bread for a while. Sacramento and Portland won’t face off again until April 10, the final game of the 2018-19 season.
If the first two matchups between the two teams is any barometer, it should be a lively evening at the Moda Center in Portland.