With just over six minutes left in the Portland Trail Blazers big Game 6 win over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, Seth Curry gave Will Barton a light shove as he went to pick up his teammate Zach Collins from the ground. Barton took exception, and the two pressed their chests up against each other in the standard “I want to look tough but we’re not actually going to fight” NBA fare.
As a ref came to separate the two, Barton put a hand in Curry’s face, which left Curry furious, both in the moment and in the locker room after the game.
“He waited for a few people to get in between us, and when a few people were in between us, he put his finger in my eye,” Curry told ESPN. “You know what I’m saying. I can’t allow people to put their fingers in my eye. That’s real sassy. They got a few sassy dudes over there. Front runners. And we can’t allow that.”
Barton said he was simply trying to defend himself, especially after Collins fell directly into his lower leg, a scary occurrence for any NBA player.
“It ain’t no beef,” Barton said. “I wasn’t even looking for that. I was just trying to protect myself. I guess he thought I was trying to stand on top of him and be tough. I was just trying to get out of the way before I got injured. He pushed me. I’m not going to let nobody push me. But that’s nothing.”
With Game 7 set for Sunday back in Denver, tempers have started to flare between the two teams as they battle to reach the Western Conference Finals.