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New Thunder player Kendrick Perkins' nastiness starts after pregame nap

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: February 26, 2011 at 9:38 pm •  Published: February 26, 2011

It wasn't long before Scott Brooks landed on something he could appreciate about Kendrick Perkins during a recent notes exchange with Doc Rivers.

"He doesn't like NBA players," Brooks said the Celtics coach told him about his new center.

Soon, Oklahoma City Thunder fans will admire that same attribute.

That's because Perkins, the 6-foot-10, 280-pound bruiser who was acquired in a trade Thursday, doesn't just play the part. He lives it.

"That's how you got to feed your family," Perkins said at his introductory press conference Saturday. "Game time, I wake up with an attitude after my nap."

On the court, Perkins' scowl is sincere. His moodiness is pre-meditated.

On any night. Against any player.

"I pick something about them that I just don't like," Perkins explained, his inflection growing more incensed at the mere thought. "It's petty but it's just me and it kind of sticks with me for the whole day, I might not like the way he walks on the court."

What about Pau Gasol, a reporter asked, what don't you like about him?

"Everything," Perkins responded, without a moment's hesitation.

Yeah, this guy's going to fit right in.

It's a shame Perkins won't be available for today's game against Gasol and the Los Angeles Lakers. But nobody is more disappointed than Perkins, who was forced to miss Game 7 of last year's NBA Finals after sustaining a knee injury in Game 6 of the NBA's most storied rivalry.

Perkins has been ruled out for the next two to three weeks with a sprained left knee, an injury he sustained last Tuesday. The start of a six-game home stand on March 18 against Charlotte is a target comeback date for Perkins.

And he can't wait to make his presence felt.

"Getting off the plane, everybody was telling me how they're excited about me being here, which kind of put a lot of pressure on me," Perkins said. "Now, I feel like I got to come in and just be better than ever as far as being a defensive-minded player."

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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