But unlike many of his peers, the seven-footer from New Zealand isn’t known to participate in talking trash.
In his recently published memoir, My Life, My Fight, Adams details a story of an interaction with a “totally aggro” Valanciunas (h/t reddit user ShaolinCheesecake):
“Perhaps my new signing was a boost to my confidence because I decided to properly respond to trash talk for the first and last time. Jonas Valanciunas from the Raptors was ripping into me all game, totally aggro. When he asked for a fight for the hundredth time, I finally turned to him and said, ‘You don’t want to mess with me. You use a knife and fork to eat your food. I use my hands.’ He didn’t know how to respond to that because it was so dumb, but it got him to shut up for a while, so I guess it worked. I decided to retire from trash talking after that game and go out on a win.”
Adams and the Thunder hosted the Raptors on Nov. 6, 2016, just after reports of the big man’s $140 million contract extension surfaced. But Valanciunas did not play that night, so the game Adams is referring to is likely their next meeting, on March 16, 2017, one in which Adams got the better of Valanciunas, holding the Lithuanian to just seven points on 3-of-7 shooting.
The following season, Adams would again get the better of the Raptors’ starting centre:
Check out Steven Adams' celebration after he puts Jonas Valanciunas on a poster
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) December 28, 2017
Click here for more information on Adams’ book, which chronicles his improbable path to the NBA and features several great anecdotes on current and former teammates.