SAN FRANCISCO -- Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal called out Kent Bazemore on Twitter Monday night after the Golden State Warriors swingman appeared to take a shot at Beal while weighing in on Stephen Curry's place atop the NBA scoring race.
During Monday's shootaround, Bazemore, a close friend of Curry's, praised his teammate's ability to remain humble no matter how many accolades come his way.
"Forty-nine points in 29 minutes, though, that's unreal," Bazemore said, referring to Curry's output in a win over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night. "Then we got guys hurting hamstrings, trying to keep up. So, ya'll gotta do some research on that."
Curry is averaging a league-leading 31.9 points per game, with Beal close behind at 31.4 PPG. On the same night Curry scored 49, Beal finished with 50 points in Washington's overtime win at the Indiana Pacers hours earlier. Beal sat out the end of regulation and overtime, however, after straining his hamstring in the second half.
Beal, who missed Monday's game and will also be out Wednesday because of the hamstring injury, took exception to Bazemore's apparent dig and voiced his frustration in a series of tweets.
"You don't know why I go out there and play and it damn sure ain't for another man's approval!!!" Beal wrote in a tweet directed at Bazemore. "You a straight LAME!!!"
He continued, "it's funny you say that because ya mans admittedly checked my numbers before the game, but IM CHASING!!!"
Beal concluded his Twitter thread with a GIF of a clown.
While Beal was taking aim at Bazemore, the Warriors guard was in the midst of one of his best games of the season. Bazemore finished with 19 points in 34 minutes as Golden State beat the visiting Utah Jazz 119-116.
Bazemore downplayed the situation with Beal when asked about it following Monday's victory.
"I guess you can't joke anymore," Bazemore said, adding, "I don't say things to ruffle feathers, but ... if you want to know what my loyalty is, it's to [Curry]. Anyone out there chasing him, it's gonna be tough."
Asked if he would reach out to Beal to describe what he meant by the remark, Bazemore replied, "There's nothing really to explain; I was laughing, jokingly, half-heartedly said it." He went on to say that there was "nothing malicious about that comment."
"It was 11:30 in the morning, 12 o'clock, I was off my Bulletproof Coffee feeling good, enjoying seeing you guys' faces, and that's kind of what it was," Bazemore explained. "I don't know, man. I don't think I would have reacted that way. But to each their own; he's a great player, played against him for a long time, he's been getting better every year, so [I wish him] a speedy recovery. I hope that helps."
Beal, however, said Tuesday during an appearance on ESPN's First Take that he doesn't think Bazemore's comments are funny.
"I didn't like that. I didn't like the last part of the comment," Beal said. "The first half of it about what Steph was doing was -- I'm with you, bro. Forty-nine in 29 minutes, I think everybody in here can agree that that's remarkable and truly amazing, so nobody's arguing that.
"But I didn't mention you, my hamstrings have nothing to do with why I go out there and play the game, and for me to injure my hamstring and you kind of make a joke about it, I don't take that too fondly, honestly, because I take pride in being somebody who -- my first four years, I was always labeled as an injury-prone guy. I was always labeled as somebody who couldn't stay on the floor. So I take pride in my body, I take pride in being on the floor and being available for my team and giving my team the best chance to win. ... Don't make fun of something that's not funny."
Bazemore said he didn't check his phone all day until after Monday's contest, at which point it was "blowing up."
His plans for the rest of the night did not appear to include Beal or Twitter.
"I'm gonna go home, love up my wife, watch some 'Peaky Blinders' and go to bed," Bazemore said. "I got work to do tomorrow."