Giant Kiwi Steven Adams won himself some new fans when he prevented an NBA brawl in hilarious scenes that went viral.
Kiwi cult hero Steven Adams has proven he is the strongest man in the NBA.
The giant centre, who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, intervened when his teammate and franchise superstar Ja Morant got caught up in a melee that threatened to boil over against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.
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Morant was dribbling to the hoop when Chicago’s Tony Bradley stuck out his leg and appeared to trip him and then grabbed onto the Grizzlies star, refusing to let go of him.
Morant was fuming and it nearly sparked a brawl, before Adams stepped in to calmly defuse the situation.
Seeing his teammate get fired up, Adams grabbed Bradley in a bear hug and separated him from Morant, carrying him away from the players to the half-court line.
Fans were in awe of Adams’ brute strength to lift Bradley — who weights 125kg and stands 208cm tall — comparing him to a nightclub bouncer evicting an unruly patron.
NBA host Trevor Lane tweeted: “Steven Adams just picked up Tony Bradley like Bradley was a 6 year old.”
The Athletic’s Fred Katz said: “Steven Adams remains the strongest man in the NBA.”
Grizzlies TV presenter Jessica Benson said Adams picked Bradley up “like he was a sack of potatoes”.
Morant was grateful Adams came to his defence, but said he’d expect nothing less from the towering Kiwi.
When asked what he thought of Adams coming to the rescue, the star point guard responded: “As he should. I’d do the same for him.”
The Grizzlies’ Desmond Bane could see the funny side of the incident.
“When I looked up on the Jumbotron and saw his feet hovering the ground and (Adams) carrying him like he a lil kid, I couldn’t help but laugh,” he said post-game.
Memphis got back to winning ways against the Bulls, claiming a 119-106 victory in a clash between two of the surprise packets of the NBA season.
Morant and Bane topscored with 25 points each, while Adams chipped in with 10 rebounds, six assists and two points.