It has been 5 million blog years since the big NBA story was Russell Westbrook’s impact on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Through three playoff series, the All-Star point guard was alternately criticized for both shooting too much and passing too much, not to mention getting technicals at inopportune times. He couldn’t win, even though his team did.
But for all the criticism, Westbrook handled it well, never lashing out at anyone despite repeated questioning about how he was playing. Just ask Kendrick Perkins, who recently paid him the greatest compliment one could ever hope to receive. From the Oklahoman:
“Rondo’s (criticism) lasted for a little bit. Russ’ lasted throughout the whole playoffs, no matter if he played good or bad,” Perkins said. “He still was getting criticized on something. And I thought he handled that, as I say, like a G.”
Good way to handle things. Great way to present “like a G” in a very gentlemanly manner. Big fan of this quote.
Also a big fan of Kendrick Perkins’ approach to his relationships.
Perkins, who joined the Thunder in mid-February, was impressed with how a much younger Thunder team avoided the perils of outside noise. In Boston, one of the league’s biggest pressure cookers, Perkins had quickly learned to tune out most of it.
“I don’t even talk basketball with my own wife; seriously, because it can break up a locker room,” Perkins said. “It can break up a team.”
Just great. I really love the idea that Kendrick Perkins, a professional basketball player, will not talk about basketball with anyone for fear of breaking up his team’s locker room. His wife, his kids, the guy who sells him tanktops and plaid shorts, Eric at the diner, the girl who brought him his buffalo wings, his parents, his teammates — none of them get basketball talk from Kendrick Perkins because he knows what that can do to a team’s chemistry. Just a very Kendrick Perkins way of life.
The Thunder are going to be all right. They’ve got a G of a point guard, the league’s leading scorer and a center who’s taken a vow of silence in order to keep his team together. That’s like something out of a kung fu movie, and if Wu-Tang has taught us anything, that’s good news.