He said. He said.
The feud between the Hawks’ Dennis Schroder and the Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas continues Monday with both starting point guards standing by comments regarding trash talk last month.
Schroder said after the Jan. 13 meeting that Thomas invoked his mother when hurling insults. Thomas denied he said anything about Schroder’s family. Both players reiterated their version of the incident.
“Everybody heard it,” Schroder said Monday morning. “My family sat courtside too. Thabo (Sefolosha) heard some things. He wasn’t involved in it. It is what it is. We just try to compete. It gets heated in the game.”
Thomas was asked about the rematch with Schroder after the Celtics played at the Pistons Sunday.
“Man, I’m past that, I’m not worried about that,” Thomas told reporters. “Once he tried to damage my character, saying I talked about his parents or whatever. I’m past that. Not even worried about it.”
Sefolosha said he “can’t recall” what was said between the two players but noted the trash talk was intense.
“I know they were talking,” Sefolosha said. I don’t know exactly what was said. I know there was a lot of talk and it was pretty intense. I don’t know exactly what was said. It was one of those situations that I’m going to definitely have my teammate’s back.”
The Celtics won the earlier season meeting in Atlanta when Thomas scored on a step-back jumper with 2.4 seconds left for a 103-101 victory.
The history between Schroder and Thomas goes back to last season’s playoff series. In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal, Thomas slapped Schroder after scoring a basket. The two had to be separated and were assessed technical fouls. Thomas had his foul upgraded to a Flagrant Foul I after league review. Many in the Hawks organization believed Thomas should have been suspended. The Hawks won the series in six games.
“He’s a great player,” Schroder said Monday. “What he did in the playoffs last year was just not professional. I think nobody wants to see that. But it’s fine. We just try to compete and help our team win the basketball game.”
Schroder realizes he will be on the receiving end from a vociferous Boston crowd.
“It is what it is,” Schroder said. “Probably my whole career when I get here (he will be booed). They are probably pretty mad still that we won in the playoffs last year. It happens.”
Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said he won’t have a special conversation so as to not turn this game into Dennis Schroder-Isaiah Thomas Part III.
“Dennis is a competitive guy as is Isaiah,” Budenholzer said. “I think they are both more concerned about their teams, what is best for their team. Dennis is going to be ready to compete. I think that is what is most important.”