Steven Adams was the hero for the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, but it was his almost too honest post-game interview that had NBA fans in stitches.
The Kiwi big man, a career 55% free throw shooter, hit one free throw but missed the second, only to then secure the offensive rebound and kick it out to point guard Chris Paul, who hit both of resultant free throws to ice the game.
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The Thunder trailed by as much as 26 points before rallying in the second half.
Paul’s 19-point final quarter keyed the unlikely victory, but it was Adams’ free throw and clutch offensive rebound which kept the Thunder on the fringe of the playoff picture.
Asked about it soon after the game ended, the affable New Zealander gave a typically honest answer about how he was feeling at the line.
Steven! 🤐😬 You're on TV!— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) December 17, 2019
🎤 after the WIN. pic.twitter.com/OsBurCyUwk
“I absolutely s**t my pants,” he said.
“It's pretty tough, I didn't realise how much pressure it is hey, but I made it mate, gotta be happy with it.”
Clearly thrilled with the win, Adams said the Thunder’s poor first half meant there was work to be done before the team could be a playoff threat.
“It's one of those, 'yeah it's cool, but then it's not cool' if that makes sense," he said.
"But yeah we'll accept it mate, we'll take the win.”
LeBron James’ classy response to load management concerns
LeBron James has been clear about one thing this season: He doesn’t like load management. In early November, amid a hot start for the Los Angeles Lakers, James said after a game that as long as he wasn’t hurt, he’d be playing.
James hasn’t let up on that position. On Sunday, he actually doubled down, reiterating that he will play if he’s healthy because he feels it’s his obligation to the fans — especially the kids — who come to see him.
You might imagine that someone like James, a 17-year NBA veteran who is about to turn 35 and is coming off the first injury-plagued season of his career, might be in favour of load management.
It could help him avoid injuries and stay in the NBA longer, which at his age is likely a goal.
“Why wouldn’t I play if I’m healthy? It doesn’t make any sense to me, personally. I mean, I don’t know how many games I’ve left in my career,” he said.
“I don’t know how many kids that may show up to a game that are there to see me play.”
James isn’t having it. He got into the NBA to play, and that’s what he’s going to do until he can’t (or doesn’t want to) anymore.