A day after Miami forward Udonis Haslem questioned Kendrick Perkins' toughness, the Thunder's center responded with a succinct shot at the entire Heat team.
“At the end of the day, we was Oklahoma City when we played them in Oklahoma City,” Perkins started. “And we was Oklahoma City when we played them in Miami. So nothing changed with us. They wasn't the same Miami Heat in Oklahoma City. They was Miami in Miami. But they weren't Miami in Oklahoma.”
ALDRICH ENDORSES MANNING
Cole Aldrich on Friday endorsed the hiring of Danny Manning as Tulsa's new men's basketball coach. As an assistant under Bill Self, Manning coached Aldrich for three seasons at Kansas.
“I think it's a great hire for them,” Aldrich said. “In my mind, that's a steal to have a guy that talented of a coach, even though he hasn't been able to show it as a head coach.
“I think his talent obviously as a teacher for myself and big guys, and even for guard, is huge. He knows the game very, very well. Obviously, he played 15 years in the league and led KU in '88 to a national title. So he knows the game and he knows how to play and he knows how to coach. He's going to do a great job up there.”
Shaquille O'Neal on the MVP race: “If you take LeBron (James) off that team, they're close to a regular team. But if you take Durant off Oklahoma City, then that becomes an expansion team. Westbrook is a good player, but he gets space because Durant is out there. You take Durant off them and all teams focus on him, and he would be forced to do other things.”
The league office rescinded the technical foul Perkins picked up at Miami on Wednesday after a hard foul on Heat guard Dwyane Wade and deemed it flagrant foul. Perkins now has 11 technical fouls, two away from an automatic one-game suspension. … Butler coach Brad Stevens sat in on the Thunder's shootaround Friday morning, watching alongside GM Sam Presti before chatting briefly with a handful of coaches afterward. … Perkins, Westbrook, Daequan Cook, Royal Ivey and Eric Maynor on Saturday afternoon are scheduled to lend a helping hand in renovating the home of a local senior citizen and her family. This is the fourth year that Thunder players have helped restore a home in conjunction with Rebuilding Together OKC.
The Thunder returns home for one game to face the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. It's the first and only meeting of the season between the two teams. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.