Joakim Noah calls Kendrick Perkins an angry dude
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter December 21, 2013 11:26PM
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) celebrates with teammates after scoring a basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
Updated: January 23, 2014 6:50AM
Joakim Noah admitted Saturday that he was wrong for trespassing in enemy territory Thursday night, but he also took a swipe at Thunder big man Kendrick Perkins.
“I shouldn’t have been in that locker room in the first place, and, you know, just wanted to say hi to some loved ones,’’ Noah said. “[Thunder shooting guard] Thabo [Sefolosha] is family. That’s it. It’s not a big deal. Perk is an angry dude; it’s all good.’’
It was after Noah had showered and met with the media that he headed over to the Thunder’s locker room to talk with Sefolosha. Perkins saw him and said, “They just let anybody in the locker room?’’
After the two went back and forth, Noah finally said, “If you want me to wait outside, I’ll wait outside.’’
Perkins said, “Get your [butt] up outta here.’’
Noah said NBA security called him about it, but he downplayed the incident.
“Nah, no history [with Perkins] at all,’’ Noah said. “Guys, come on, it’s not that serious. I know you guys are probably bored right now. We’re losing, and there’s nothing to do, nothing else to talk about, but it’s not a big deal. Just waking up in the morning, having to talk to NBA security. Come on, let’s move on.’’
Coach Tom Thibodeau coached Perkins in Boston and wasn’t surprised he reacted that way, especially when the unwritten rule is it’s OK to go into the opposing locker room only if a player was once part of that organization.
“It’s more or less frowned upon to go into someone’s locker room where you haven’t played,’’ Thibodeau said. “That’s normal [how Perkins responded]. That’s usually how teams respond.’’
Kirk Hinrich (back) was ruled out against the Cavaliers despite participating in the morning shootaround. He joined Jimmy Butler (ankle) and Luol Deng (Achilles tendon) on the shelf.
Thibodeau was hoping to have all three back Wednesday in Brooklyn, but that was a big if.
“The fact that [Hinrich] did shooting [Friday] and then [Saturday] — he went through the shootaround — is a good sign that he’s moving in the right direction,’’ Thibodeau said.