After investigating last Wednesday's incident between Thunder center Kendrick Perkins and Memphis forward Zach Randolph, the NBA on Monday fined Randolph $25,000 for “confronting” Perkins near the OKC locker room area at Chesapeake Energy Arena following their ejections with 2:05 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Grizzlies' 107-97 victory.
Randolph told his side of the story in an interview on ESPN radio in Memphis on Tuesday. Here is a brief excerpt:
Q: What happened in the back that the NBA is fining you for, because nobody knows the story?
A: “I mean, it really wasn't, I just, they said because I went through the double doors. I guess I went on their side. So I don't know.”
Q: And then in the back, did you try to go in their locker room?
A: “Nah, I didn't go in their locker room. It was some doors. I had went on their side. Their locker room was like right there to the left, but I had went through some doors in the hallway. And I went through the doors, but it was a lesson learned. It won't happen again. I ain't gonna lose no $25,000 again. I'm done with all that bluffing on the court, because them guys do a lot of bluffing. I'm from the bluff city. We don't do no bluffing, man. (Laughs).”
Q: Do you think Perkins got the point? Do you think he probably thought, “This guy's a maniac?”
A; “(Laughs). I don't know. Perkins know me, so he know what's up.”
Q: Could you whoop him?
A: “(Laughs). I'm good with these hands, man. ... I'm pretty good with these hands so … Hey, every day I came out the house I had to fight, you know. Me and my brother.”
The teams play each other three times this season. Their next meeting is Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in OKC in a TNT game. Their lone meeting in Memphis will be March 20 at 7 p.m.
EYES OF CHAMINADE
Texas product Kevin Durant evidently escaped the wrath of teammates Tuesday morning because no one gave him grief about Division II Chaminade beating the Longhorns 86-73 at the Maui Invitational on Tuesday.
“Oh, I forgot,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said regretfully.
Veteran forward Nick Collison wasn't even aware.
“Oh, I didn't see. They beat Texas?” Collison said, a smile suddenly creeping on his face. “They'll have to turn it around if they want to get in that race for second (place) in the league.”
Collison played for Kansas, which has won the last eight Big 12 regular-season titles.
New Thunder sideline reporter Lesley McCaslin also attended UT. “It's OK. I'm good,” she said softly.
The Clippers signed free-agent guard Jamal Crawford to a relatively modest four-year, $21.35-million deal last offseason.
Crawford quickly has made himself the frontrunner for Sixth Man of the Year by leading the Clippers in scoring (19.4 ppg) despite coming off the bench and shooting 43.4 percent from 3-point range.
“He's as hard to guard as anybody in this league,” Brooks said of Crawford, who is in his 13th season. “He's crafty up top. He can get to where he wants to go with his dribble. He has a great crossover and he has 3-point range, deep range. You don't think that he's shooting it, but he shoots it 5-6 feet behind the 3(-point arc). We have to extend multiple defenders at him. We have to not give him anything easy and make him earn every shot.
“I think that's the best thing you can do … and you hope that he misses.”
Wednesday's game between the Thunder and Clippers starts at 6:30 p.m. rather than at 7 and is the only league game on ESPN, which normally carries an NBA doubleheader. Fox Sports Oklahoma also will televise the game. … Clippers starting forward Caron Butler (right shoulder strain) is questionable and will be a game-time decision. … Through the first two games this season, OKC forward Serge Ibaka shot 5 for 18 (.278) from the field and 1 for 2 (.500) from the free-throw line. Since then, he has gone 61 for 99 (.617) from the field and 27 for 29 (.931) from the line.
Collison on how the Thunder will try to defend the Clippers' “Lob City” attack: “We'll try to make them score over us as much as possible. The spin lobs, the tricks, there's stuff you want to take out, but also the turnovers, the live ball turnovers when they're running in transition. It's hard to stop any team, but especially them with their athletes. Taking away the easy ones will be a big part of it.”