Steven Adams, from New Zealand, came to the U.S. in 2012. He tells USA Today Sports that differences in the use of language in his home country led to his poor choice of words Monday.

Adams explains that he "was just trying to express how difficult it was chasing those guys around." He says he is "truly sorry."

In New Zealand, the term "little monkey" is often used to describe the antics of children. It's less frequently used when talking about adults, but generally wouldn't be considered offensive.

Adams says he's still getting used to different words and expressions and "trying to figure out the boundaries." He added that he "definitely overstepped them."