Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams apologized almost immediately Monday night after Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals for calling Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson "quick little monkeys" during a postgame interview on ESPN.
Adams, 22, hails from New Zealand and came to the U.S. in 2012. When asked after the interview, he said that the choice of words had nothing to do with race, and was a result of different uses of language in his native country.
Steven Adams chooses the wrong words to describe the Warriors' guards. "They're quick little monkeys," he says. pic.twitter.com/ss5DbHilqD
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) May 17, 2016
"It was just a poor choice of words, mate," he said to USA Today. "I wasn't thinking straight. I didn't know it was going to upset anyone, but I'm truly sorry. It was just a poor choice of words. I was just trying to express how difficult it was chasing those guys around."
Adams, who has become one of the refreshingly honest and insightful quotes in the league, said that he is still assimilating to American culture.
"It's just different, mate," he said. "Different words, different expressions, and stuff like that. But they obviously can be taken differently, depending on which country you're in. I'm assimilating, mate, still trying to figure out the boundaries. But I definitely overstepped them tonight."
Hopefully this slip-up doesn't affect Adams' openness with the media moving forward.