In just 12 games as a member of the Thunder, Kendrick Perkins has been hit with five technical fouls.
That ties him with Serge Ibaka for second on the Thunder if you count only the Ts he’s received in Oklahoma City. Russell Westbrook leads the way with eight. But throw in the four techs Perk picked up in Boston and his tally is a team-leading nine in just 24 games this season.
Perk got his latest tech Tuesday night at Denver, when he mixed it up with Nuggets center Nene, standing forehead to forehead before the two finally got called for double technical fouls.
Now, it’s safe to say that Perkins’ propensity for drawing techs has followed him from Boston, where he garnered 50 in 7 1/2 seasons, to Oklahoma City. And we aren’t too accustomed to Ts around here. Thunder players were slapped with just 12 all of last season. Perkins has obliterated that pace.
But the recently-acquired 6-foot-10 center is not just a hot head who can’t control his temper. Perk insists there’s a method to his madness.
“It’s times that you can get a good tech,” Perkins explained. “You set the tone every now and then.”
Most of Perkins’ five technical fouls in a Thunder uniform have come from altercations with opposing players. Jawing. Pushing. Stare downs. That sort of stuff. But Perkins doesn’t think techs of that variety are a problem. In those situations, Perkins said he’s intentionally pushing other players’ buttons. He’s playing the role of the schoolyard bully, testing and taunting his competition to see how far they’ll allow him to go.
As Perkins said, if he pushes and is not pushed back he knows he has the upper hand. If he barks and his man backs down, he know he’s won the game within the game.
When it comes to the refs, however, Perkins is more careful.
“I try to pick and choose,” Perkins said. “Sometimes it may look like I’m attacking the ref or swearing or cursing at a ref but I’m not. Sometimes I’m just telling him to get his head in the game or something to that nature.
“As I got older, I developed good relationships with the guys so they know how I am and they have a higher tolerance for me. And I know how to approach them. I just pick and choose. Some days I try to get a tech. Other days, I just mess with them every now and then.”