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The fire still burns in the (slender) belly of Kendrick Perkins

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said it's a good thing when Perkins is ‘made at his opponent'
by Berry Tramel Published: December 25, 2011

Now we know for sure. Gran Torino has much more than that “Get off my lawn!” stare. His agility and quickness has returned, and now he can back up that Grinch persona. And the Thunder is that much better for it.

On a Christmas Day when the Thunder's chief Western Conference rivals both fell flat at home against one of the East's few elite teams, the Thunder had the chance to do the same.

But after the Heat routed the Mavericks and the Lakers folded down in the final minutes against Chicago, the Thunder didn't follow the same script. The Boomers showed why they have become the West favorite.

Maybe the biggest concern now is Perkins' eligibility. Kennedy later in the game handed Perk a technical foul; in the shortened NBA season, 13 techs will get you a one-game suspension.

“End of the day, I just want it to be fair,” Perkins said. “It happens in a game, a lot of emotions build up.

“I've actually got a pretty good relationship with Billy. So it's all good.”

Brooks said Perk “has to control the emotions. We didn't want the technical fouls to add up. He told me he will slow it down when he gets to nine. Or eight. I'm trying to talk him down to six.”

Yeah, right, Scotty. We saw how interested you are in trying to settle down Perkins. And you're playing it just right.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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