Kendrick Perkins didn't mean any disrespect.
Really, he never thought it was a big deal.
But the Thunder center will now join his teammates when they line up on the court during the national anthem.
Before Friday's game against the Lakers, Perkins traditionally had exited the court and run back to the locker room just before the singing of The Star Spangled Banner. Starting with the Lakers game, however, Perkins said he will stick around for the anthem out of respect from now on.
“I didn't know people made a big deal about it,” Perkins said before Friday's game.
Perkins explained that his ritual was to visit the restroom during the anthem.
“I go in there and get my head together,” Perkins said. “Sometimes I be in there meditating a little bit and then I come out. But I'm going to be out there from now on, though.”
Perkins said he started the tradition during his Boston days. Fans in Oklahoma City, though, have begun noticing Perk's absence, and Perkins doesn't want his ritual to be a distraction.
“You know how you start a ritual and you just keep it going? That's pretty much how it was. I just get my head together; take a deep breath. If you're feeling some type of way, if you're too pumped up you go in there and just calm down a little bit. Stuff like that.”
STEVEN ADAMS RETURNS, THABO SEFOLOSHA SITS AGAIN
Two nights after what looked like a bad ankle sprain, rookie center Steven Adams was back in the Thunder lineup, without even a limp.
But Thabo Sefolosha, still nursing a sprained right knee, missed his third consecutive game.
Adams finished with five rebounds, three assists, five fouls and a point in 14 minutes. Sefolosha is still considered day-to-day.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks on whether there's ever a thought to tame down Russell Westbrook: “We want Russell to be aggressive. I do not want Russell to play like I played. That would not look good. First of all, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be in my sixth season if I was trying to mold him to be the next Scott Brooks.”
STAT OF THE GAME
Serge Ibaka (19 points, 10 rebounds) compiled his 11th double-double of the season. He had only 15 all of last year.
The Thunder faces the Orlando Magic (7-16) at 6 p.m. Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Oklahoma City has a chance to improve to 12-0 at home.