Zach LaVine was spotted by TV cameras Tuesday night yelling he had “f**king 40 points” towards Chicago’s bench.
The 24-year-old finished with a game-high 41 points for Chicago, who fell 124-122 to the visiting OKC Thunder.
“You get into the heat of the battle and between players when you guys are talking, you talk smack sometimes, right? And that’s all it was,” LaVine told ESPN, after finishing with 41 points.
“We were still down. [Oklahoma City’s Dennis Schroder] was talking a little mess to me and I just let him know, ‘Look, I’ve got 40, I don’t know why you’re talking to me,'” he added. “I don’t know why they said they thought I was talking to Jim, but it was just people being competitive in the game talking.”
It was LaVine’s sixth 40-point game of the season. The only Bulls player with more in a season was Michael Jordan, who posted at least seven in 11 seasons.
“I’ve got to do a better job,” LaVine said. “The cameras have been following me lately, so people are going to make their own assumptions on what’s going on between me and Jim or me and the team, but our relationship is fine. I’m a competitive and fiery guy on the court, so that’s pretty much what happened.”