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Should the Russell Westbrook-Kendrick Perkins relationship concern the Thunder?

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: October 2, 2011 at 8:37 pm •  Published: October 2, 2011

Potential evidence that it wasn't just lip service is the case of James Harden. Presti hand-picked Harden as the No. 3 overall selection in 2009. Brooks, however, stayed with Thabo Sefolosha as the starting shooting guard last season despite Presti being a big proponent of Harden. In 28 games after the All-Star break, Harden still averaged only 28.5 minutes.

Presti also rarely was seen by the team's beat writers in the locker room. In fact, it became common to see Presti intentionally detour around the dressing area whenever he was needed in the locker room, which also houses the training room.

As for Westbrook and Perkins, no one could characterize them as bosom buddies inside the locker room. But Perkins' locker is stationed across the room from Westbrook's. That never stops Westbrook and Eric Maynor from volleying jabs. But Perkins, the no-nonsense center, always was all business the moment he stepped foot into the locker room. Westbrook, meanwhile, never shied away from crediting Perkins for the team's defensive turnaround in the second half last year.

On the court, Perkins and Westbrook had occasional disagreements. One of the more memorable happened in mid-March against Charlotte when Perkins appeared to chew out Westbrook following one possession of poor defense. But those were viewed more as routine spats.

Was there something more?

Kevin Durant admitted in a recent interview with that an argument of some kind did indeed transpire. But he classified it as normal, so much so that he said he had forgotten it happened. He then said “everybody enjoys each other's company,” and added those disagreements will only make the team better.

“We're going to always have arguments, but it's nothing to the point of where guys are going to walk out of that locker room and say, ‘Nah, I don't like him,'” Durant said. “We're all going to get it together and we're all going to figure it out right on the spot. That's what happens in a group. That's what makes a group great.”

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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