Part of the reason Kendrick Perkins is in Oklahoma City is to teach the Thunder how to act like champions.
And he isn’t the only ex-Celtics center who thinks there’s still much to learn after watching the closing minutes of the Thunder’s 99-72 rout of Memphis in Game 5 Wednesday at the Oklahoma City Arena.
“We have to end the game with better class than that,” Perkins told Johnny Ludden of Yahoo Sports! “That’s too disrespectful in my eyes. That’s not what the Thunder are about. … I think we were too flashy.”
Said TNT analyst and former Celtics great Kevin McHale: “For me, Oklahoma City did a little too much celebrating the last couple minutes. (Coach) Lionel Hollins will show them the tape, and the Memphis Grizzlies will win Game 6 back home at the Mailbox. The big fellows will be upset.”
Should they be? Should anyone be? TNT’s Charles Barkley was so worked up he imagined what he’d do in a Grizzlies uniform: “I’m going to take a guy into the stands, and I’m going to make it look like an accident.” (Read more about what TV analysts had to say about the Thunder last night here).
For months the media has lauded the Thunder’s spirit. Oklahoma City’s youthful roster has been called Thunder U for its chemistry, togetherness and camaraderie. In March, national analysts considered it refreshing to see young All-Stars cheering on teammates from the bench.
In May, when you’re up 27 on a team that’s taken you to four overtime periods in the previous two games a griding series, apparently it’s bush.
What do you think? Should Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook remain seated, make dinner plans and golf claps while Thunder reserves are outplaying Memphis starters? Should coach Scott Brooks have kept Nate Robinson and Royal Ivey — two veterans who you’d think should know the unwritten rules — on the bench rather than have them jack up 3-pointers or dribble between their legs in violation of NBA blowout etiquette?
Or should McHale, Barkley and Perkins (who apparently didn’t get around to teaching Robinson those lessons in Boston when they were Celtics teammates) just relax?
Weigh in with your thoughts, but know this: If you think Perk should relax, I’m going to let you tell him.