A few New York Knicks responded to Clint Capela’s trash talk, but they aren’t providing any bulletin board material.
The New York Knicks are not going to get into a war of words with the Atlanta Hawks. Although each Knick had a distinct message in their post-practice media availability, their collective response to Clint Capela’s “vacation” trash talk is simple:
Capela had some choice words for the Knicks, and specifically Julius Randle following the physical play of Game 4:
Clint Capela’s message to the Knicks after the chippiness in Game 4:
“We’ll send you guys on vacation.”
— Danny Small (@dwsmall8) June 1, 2021
The full quote can be read here, but the headline is that Capela tells the Knicks, “We’ll send you on vacation.”
This is what playoff basketball is all about — physicality, trash talk, and bad blood. For what it’s worth, the Knicks are not fanning the flames with their comments. Down 3-1, they are taking the high road.
Randle’s response to Capela only took two words: “Don’t care.” His emphatic response came before the question was even asked. He later added:
“Why would I give a hell what Clint Capela has to say?”
Derrick Rose echoed that response by shutting down a question and then later explaining his thought process when it comes to trash talk:
“I was just saying like, bruh, I’m 32 years old. I never talked s*** like that in my life and I’m not gonna start now once Clint Capela has probably started talking crazy. It don’t get to me like that… I’m too old for that s***.”
So Randle and Rose heard the comments, but the last player to speak on Tuesday, RJ Barrett, seemed surprised when he heard about Capela’s trash talk. In fact, he didn’t even know which Hawk was the one talking about sending the Knicks on vacation. After a reporter explained Capela’s comments, Barrett simply said, “We’ll see tomorrow.”
These responses from the Knicks are the least bit shocking to anyone who has followed this team. The Knicks have exuded a quiet confidence that can sometimes manifest itself in a physical brand of basketball. That identity stems directly from the team’s head coach, Tom Thibodeau.
Unsurprisingly, Thibodeau didn’t have much to add to the war of words. The message from Thibs has been consistent from the first day of training camp until now — focus on basketball.
“I think the challenge for us is just to stay focused. That’s just noise,” Thibs told reporters.
This chippy Knicks-Hawks series continues on Wednesday night (7:30 p.m. ET) in Madison Square Garden. A packed house is going to give Capela a hearty welcome as the Knicks fight for their playoff lives.