It’s just playoff basketball.
That’s what Evan Fournier had to say in his postgame media availability after getting into a bit of an altercation with Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant.
The Boston Celtics wing didn’t offer much of an explanation for what transpired following Game 2, but he and Durant exchanged some heated words on one play in particular. And Fournier didn’t back down, getting up in Durant’s face.
It seemed to make teammate Marcus Smart proud.
“Some guys naturally have that, some guys don’t. But unfortunately you have to bring it,” Smart said Thursday in his media availability after practice, referring to the incident and the physicality in which the Nets have played.
“Eventually you’re going to get tired of it, and you’re gonna have to respond. And at this point you got to protect yourself, you got to protect your teammates, so if the game is gonna allow the other teams to do it to us, you got to be able to do it back, regardless of what the consequences is. Because obviously consequences don’t matter because they get to do it, we don’t. So, at this moment … go out there, you gotta protect yourself. So if we got to get into some faces, we got to get into some faces, you know? Obviously we go out there to play basketball, but like I said, we’re all grown men and we’re gonna fight back. Nobody’s just gonna be able to punk us like that. Evan did the right thing, and I expect that from everybody else on the team. Like I said, even if it’s not your nature, eventually you’re gonna get tired of it.”
We’d expect no other sentiment from a passionate guy like Smart, undeniably the heart and soul of the Celtics.
We’ll see if that emotion carries into Game 3 in Boston on Friday, with tip-off at 8:30 p.m. ET.