Nassir Little Won't Apologize For Playing

by Casey Holdahl
Follow @chold

Apparently you actually can knock the hustle.

In the fourth quarter of Monday night’s 114-108 victory versus the Nets at Moda Center, forward Nassir Little dove to the deck in an effort to beat Nets guard Kyrie Irving to a loose ball with Portland leading 98-93 with 5:55 left to play in regulation. The ball would eventually go off of Little’s fingertips, while Irving, who looked as though he was positioning his body in an effort to impede Little’s angle to the ball, ended up falling to the floor. It’s the kind of play that has earned Little an increase in playing time and the respect and appreciation of his teammates.

But that appreciation, at least in this case, did not carry over to the opponent.

According to Irving, as reported by Bleacher Report’s Sean Highkin, diving for the loose ball was a “bad play,” “unnecessary” and had "no place in our game," an opinion likely informed by the Brooklyn point guard suffering a mild ankle injury in the process.

“I was trying to get out of the way, it was an unnecessary play,” said Irving. “I asked the refs, we’ve got to protect our players out there. It’s totally unnecessary. I get Nassir wants to go for the ball but it’s just like bro, that’s a bad play.”

Suffice to say, Little did not agree with Irving’s assessment of the play. In a tweet posted Tuesday morning, Little let it be known that while he has “the utmost respect” for Irving, he strongly disagrees with his opinion of the play.

“I would never hurt someone on purpose, I have the utmost respect for Kyrie!” tweeted Little. “But y’all are delusional if you think this is a bad play, and id do it again. Idgaf what y’all talkin about.”

I would never hurt someone on purpose, I have the utmost respect for Kyrie! But y’all are delusional if you think this is a bad play, and id do it again. Idgaf what y’all talkin about https://t.co/kcChvvupG4

— Nassir Little (@2ez_nassie) January 11, 2022

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