As far as a confrontation is concerned, Kendrick Perkins vs. Joakim Noah was as non-confrontational as it comes. From the ESPN report that cited a transcript from The Oklahoman, it sounded more like Perkins was taking a page out of former teammate Kevin Garnett‘s book of “if you’re not with us, you’re against us.”
Take a look at these
heated rather cordial words exchanged between the men:
Perkins: They just let anybody in the locker room?
Noah: C’mon, man.
Perkins: I’m just asking, though.
Noah: C’mon, man.
Perkins: Just let anybody in the locker room now?
Noah: You want me to wait outside?
Perkins: I’m just saying, though.
Noah: If you want me to wait outside, I’ll wait outside.
Perkins: Get your ass up outta here.
Can’t you just picture the heated emotions between the two? I’m surprised they didn’t seal this with an awkward man hug as Noah walked out. I’d expect this kind of banter between a father and his 10-year-old son who wants to try on his new pair of pants without his dad in the room.
That’s not to say Noah isn’t someone who wouldn’t press a few buttons given the chance, but that’s all in the spirit of gamesmanship. He’s been relatively trouble free off the court and was nothing but nice about Perkins’ crotchety ways.
The fact is, Perkins is a curmudgeon who doesn’t want his territory impinged upon by his enemy. He’s very old school in that fashion. Noah is the complete opposite — he’s a product of the younger generation that is more friendly with his opponents off the court and wouldn’t even imagine why this would be a big deal.
Of course the reason for that is…it’s not a big deal at all. This almost reminds me of the kayfabe days of professional wrestling where the face (hero) had to act like he hated the heel (villain). Or, maybe Perkins was upset that he played 20 minutes and didn’t get to attempt a shot.