Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has slammed Joakim Noah for overstepping the mark during Game 3 against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.
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There is certainly no love lost between the pair who have had several run-ins over the years having clashed so many times in the post-season.
However, a new chapter was added to their on-going feud on Friday night, with the pair both receiving technical fouls after trash talking one another following a monster James dunk.
The Cavs star proceeded to taunt his rival which sparked the first whistle, but then Noah was seen retaliating with some choice words and clapping at his rival which saw him receive a technical too.
Despite the thrilling 99-96 win for the Bulls with Derrick Rose banking in a three-pointer to seal the win, James was left irritated by Noah’s words.
“I’m a father with three kids. It got very disrespectful,” James said, according to ESPN.
“I’m OK with competing against Jo. I love the competitive nature, but we should leave it there. The disrespectful words that he said to me were uncalled for.”
James conceded that the best way to hit back is to make a play and ultimately anything else in the modern-day game will result in him being punished too. As a result, he will look to focus on hurting the Bulls in the right way moving forward, although Noah seemed to be confused about where the disrespect was.
“Disrespectful? I got mad respect for LeBron,” he said postgame, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We’re just two players trying to win a game. That’s all.”
The pair have now clashed 18 times in the playoffs, and they have had their issues in the past. However, while James added that he loves Noah’s emotion, he believes he took it too far on Friday and so it remains to be seen how the pair control their anger in the remaining games in the series.