The new NBA season isn't even underway just yet but Marcus Smart and J.R. Smith already have some beef cooking.
The pair were involved in a scuffle on Saturday night after Smith pushed Aron Baynes in the chest during a preseason game between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, with Smart rushing to his teammate's aid and having to be restrained by teammates.
The feisty guard was ejected from the match as a result of his actions and insists he's willing to accept whatever punishment is thrown his way.
FIIIIIIGHT— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) October 6, 2018
J.R. Smith vs. the Celtics in his first quarter of the preseason pic.twitter.com/uePq5aqfmG
Speaking to reporters after the match, the guard appeared to still be ticked off as he offered to continue the brawl "in the back."
"I told [Smith] to come back to the back,” he said, via NBC Sports.
"All that on the court, we can handle that off the court. I ain’t with that. And that’s on my mama, may she rest in peace. Ain’t no punk right here. On my mama, may she rest in peace. That s**t dead, so. Whatever happens, happens. J.R. knows where I’m at. Everyone knows where I’m at. It is what it is.
“Everybody saw it, man. Once again, you get to pushing and shoving and I just wasn’t having it. We went through this last year and I’m not trying to do it again. It is what it is. I did what I had to do [for] my teammates. Just like, if it was me, my teammates would do the same thing, so.”
Smith, meanwhile, has explained the incident from his vantage point.
"Everybody knows how I play, especially when I got bigs on me, try to post me up, I’m going to try to front the post,” he remarked. "So I did what I normally do, front the post. He did what bigs normally do, try and lock my arm, try and draw a whistle. He swung me extra, a little too much, twice, and they still called a double foul, which was awkward.
"I was frustrated with the situation, [Baynes] was clearly frustrated, so I pushed him. Y’all seen the rest.”
The Cavs man also reacted to the video of Smart giving his take of the incident by tweeting: "Meet me on street damn the back!!”
"Better keep this s**t [about] basketball," he added later on.
Meet me on street damn the back!! https://t.co/oP2jsVcyUc— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) October 7, 2018
Terry Rozier, one of the players who tackled Smart to the ground during the scuffle, later explained that he was only doing what he could to prevent things from escalating.
"Just try to not let the situation escalate,” the point guard said. "Just trying to do whatever I can to hold him back, and had to tackle him. But, you know, sometimes emotions get high and things like that.
"I get it. Sometimes you've just got to calm down though. It's preseason. No dirty stuff should go on, but at the same time, we just got to let things go sometimes.