In the NBA, information rarely travels in a straight line, but it always gets out fast. And not all trash-talking is done on the basketball court.
There are massive chips on the shoulders of some of the Nuggets heading into their first-round series against Oklahoma City, which starts Sunday. And perhaps on those of the Nuggets' coach as well.
Oklahoma City isn't just Denver's playoff opponent. The Thunder is a division mate that some Nuggets are finding easier to dislike by the day.
And maybe, just maybe, it means the series has implications beyond who wins over the course of the next two weeks. It may have the makings of a rivalry.
"There's potential for that," Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo said Thursday. "These are two teams that could potentially be facing each other year after year."
The teams played two games last week that turned heated. Oklahoma City won both, but it was words during and after its April 5 win in Denver that the Nuggets vow not to forget.
"We know what they were saying after the game here," Denver coach George Karl said. "We know what they were saying. We know. I'm not going to bring it to the public, but we know. It gets back to us. We have ballboys in that locker room. We have agents of players that have the same agents. We know what's going on."
Raymond Felton was the first to throw down the gauntlet. The Nuggets guard made it clear about a week ago he wanted to play Oklahoma City in the first-round series and cited loose lips from the Thunder as the main reason why.
"Hopefully we get Oklahoma City because I feel like we owe them," Felton said then.
Asked if his teammates felt the same way, he shook his head and put it all on himself. "They were doing a little bit of trash-talking, so I want them."
There's a rivalry brewing between Nuggets, Thunder
Denver Post | Apr 15