Thunder's Adams says sorry for 'monkeys' comment


May 18, 2016
Oklahoma City Thunder's Steven Adams (right) fights for a loose ball against Golden State Warriors' Harrison Barnes during the second half in Game 1 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals on Monday, May 16, 2016, in Oakland, California. Oklahoma City won 108-102.

OAKLAND, California (AP):

Oklahoma City centre Steven Adams apologised for using a derogatory term to describe Golden State's guards after Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

Adams described them as "quick little monkeys" in a televised on-court interview after Oklahoma City's 108-102 win in the series opener on Monday night. He later apologised and told USA Today Sports that differences in the use of language in his home country led to his poor choice of words.

Adams is from New Zealand. He came to the US in 2012 to attend college at Pittsburgh.

In his apology, Adams said he "was just trying to express how difficult it was chasing those guys around".

"It's just different, mate," Adams told USA Today Sports. "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."

In New Zealand, the term 'little monkey' is often used to describe the antics of children. It's less frequently used when talking about adults, but generally wouldn't be considered offensive. However, it's widely considered to be a taboo, racially insensitive term in the United States.

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