Apr 8, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets forward Donatas Motiejunas (20) and assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Donatas Motiejunas says remark about teammates was joke

Houston Rockets big man Donatas Motiejunas found himself at the center of a storm Friday when he was quoted as saying that teammates James Harden and Dwight Howard didn’t eat with the team.

On Saturday, Lithuanian journalist Simonas Baranauskas deleted the original tweet that started the controversy and posted an apology:

Jonathan Fiegen of the Houston Chronicle’s Ultimate Rockets blog talked to Motiejunas about the comments he made on a radio program in Lithuania to further clarify things, without needing to translate it into English.

“The radio show, the guys that work there, make fun of everybody,” Motiejunas said. “It’s a funny radio show. Everybody in Lithuania listens. They told me to try to be funny, try to make the jokes. They told me to be free. They asked some question. I joked about one thing. I joked about the other thing.

“They asked about the team. I tried to be funny. They asked how they (Harden and Howard) approach the team. I told them like, ‘Hey, they’re not with us. I stay alone.’ Then the journalists in Lithuania took the interview and took it serious and posted my interview. I didn’t talk with no journalists. It was just a fun radio show.”

Motiejunas said on the air that, “Basically, I just say ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’ to them. They eat different food from me. They eat fast food.’”

Motiejunas told Fiegen, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“We never have problems. For example, last year Dwight invited me and other players to Thanksgiving dinner. James and Dwight bought us gifts for Christmas. We go to eat most of the—all of the—time. I talked with Dwight today. I talk to Dwight all the time. He said he understands. Me and Dwight, we communicate pretty good in the locker room. I never had a problem.

“We hang out all the time. I never got in a fight with anyone. I never got in a word fight with anyone. That’s not nice to take that radio speech like that. I spent like 30 minutes with them. We laughed for 25 minutes. You cannot take it as a serious interview. It doesn’t make any sense.”

What??? Someone running with a quote out of context??? That never happens. Except, all the time, that is.

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Tags: Donatas Motiejunas Dwight Howard Houston Rockets James Harden

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