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If Kendrick Perkins needs help, Thunder can't provide any assistance

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: August 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm •  Published: August 14, 2011

Seems like things the Thunder would want to know, especially since the franchise in late February invested $32 million in Perkins over the next four years. Not to mention that face-of-the-franchise Kevin Durant and fellow teammates James Harden and Eric Maynor were all with Perkins last week in support of his basketball camp. But if anyone with the Thunder so much as called Perkins' hometown preacher to look into the situation without approval from the league, the franchise could be slapped with a $1 million fine.

That's one of the most overlooked problems with this work stoppage. Teams have had their hands tied. Their multimillion dollar investments are now strolling the streets with no real structure and no real authority to report to or coach to check in with.

It's like having to hand someone the keys to your Ford F-150 and being shut off from all communication while they take a six-month cross-country joy ride. When that something is a game-changing center, the situation is about 650 times more nerve-racking.

For teams to be prohibited from assisting with a player's rehab or skill development is one thing. Not being able to bail a player out of the big house is even understandable. But when franchises must be helpless in a time of need as serious as a medical emergency, it shines a light on how silly the rules are regarding player interaction. It suggests the league needs to loosen its laws.

Yes, these are grown men we're talking about. And, yes, they should be responsible enough to take care of themselves. But all it takes is for one show off or wannabe tough guy in a mall or park or barbershop or nightclub to provoke an incident. And lest we forget boredom's history of allowing all hell to break loose.

Sadly, if something else, big or small, should happen during this lockout, a player can't even turn to his team for help.

The scary part is we're only in Day 46.

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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