The NBA preseason isn't usually all that intense, but that didn't stop A.J. Price and Deron Williams from getting involved late in the Washington Wizards' 98-88 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night. With only a few minutes to go, Price, frustrated by the score and a non-call on the other end, hit Williams harder than he probably should have on a fast break. The two started jawing at each other and had to be separated.
But that was just the start. Williams, never one to let an opportunity to zing a player pass by, did just that to Price after the game. Via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:
"It's my home now," Williams said on the court, before roasting Price - a 26-year-old with a career average of six points in three seasons - in his press conference. "Maybe (Price) had some boys in the crowd he wanted to impress while he can, with the little minutes he's going to get this year."
This was in response to Price, a Long Island native, trash-talking Williams by saying "I'm home" repeatedly. It's easy to chastise Price for getting a superstar like Williams mad, but this is typical on-court trash talk. These players say things to each other that are far worse than what Price said to Williams, but they never get mentioned because most players leave all that talking out on the floor. Williams brought it to the media, which, to me, is a no-no. But then again, he won, so to a certain extent, he's allowed to do what he wants.
Price, meanwhile, was more diplomatic.
AJ Price on dustup with DWill: "Miscommunication. In the heat of the moment, guys say things all the time & 1 thing led to another" #wizards— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) October 16, 2012
This is the appropriate response. But when you're Deron Williams and your team has just won, you play by your own unwritten rules.