Kiwi Adams sorry for 'monkeys' remark after Thunder win

 17 May 2016 - 16:01

 Kiwi Adams sorry for 'monkeys' remark after Thunder win
Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams of New Zealand (R) goes to the basket as Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (L) defends during the NBA Western Conference finals basketball game one between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, USA, 16 May 2016. EPA/JOSE FAJARDO 

Oakland, United States: Oklahoma City center Steven Adams has apologized after describing the Golden State Warriors players as "quick little monkeys" during a post-game interview following his team's stunning Western Conference finals win.

The towering New Zealander described his comments in the immediate aftermath of Oklahoma City's 108-102 as "a poor choice of words" for which he was truly sorry.

Adams had been asked by an ESPN reporter to comment on the difficulty the Thunder, a notably taller team, had faced in trying to contain the shorter and nimble Warriors offense.

"I don't envy guards. They're quick little monkeys those guys," Adams remarked.

The comment drew criticism from sections of social media, where the remark was characterized as racist by some, before Adams issued a swift apology to US media.

"I wasn't thinking straight," the 22-year-old told USA Today Sports. "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 was drafted by the Thunder in 2013 after spending one season in Pittsburgh, attributed his choice of words to cultural differences. 

"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."

Adams, who is 7ft (2.13), scored 16 points in Monday's win, when the Thunder overturned a 60-47 deficit to take the first game in the best-of-seven series.

He is the brother of Valerie Adams, the two-time Olympic shot put gold gold medalist.