Thunder notebook: Bad blood building between OKC and Miami

Heat forward Udonis Haslem calls out Thunder center Kendrick Perkins. Haslem said, “I don't see him being any tough guy...”
BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Published: April 5, 2012
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If the Thunder and Heat meet in the NBA Finals, there will be plenty of animosity between the two.

Heat forward Udonis Haslem only fanned the flames Thursday morning when, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, he appeared on a Miami radio station and called out Thunder center Kendrick Perkins.

“I think sometimes people just use the TVs and the cameras and the crowd, you know, to put on a show,” Haslem is quoted as saying. “I don't think he's all that he shows out there on the court. I think anybody can be a tough guy with a thousand people watching on TV and referees who call fouls and stop the game and different things like that. I don't see him being any tough guy that he puts on the show to be at all.”

Haslem's comments were in response to Wednesday's physical and, at times, hostile battle between the two teams. Perkins delivered a hard foul against Dwyane Wade in the second quarter that knocked Wade to the floor and resulted in Perkins' NBA-leading 12th technical foul of the season. Minutes after Perkins' foul, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook then delivered a hard foul to LeBron James, grabbing the Heat's star by the shoulder and pulling him down to prevent a breakaway dunk.

Haslem was one of several Heat players who took exception to both fouls and began jawing back and forth with Kevin Durant from the bench. Juwan Howard also entered into the trash talk with Durant. In explaining the jawing, Haslem again brought it back to Perkins.

“I voiced my opinion a little bit,” Haslem said. “Not entitled to say what I said last night, but I got a little bit off my chest. We're I'm from, all the talking and playing like that, if some point it comes to a situation where you've got to back it up, he's never had to back it up, because obviously referees always step in.

“If we were playing at the park, I don't think he'd be doing that.”

Wade also addressed the physicality following Wednesday's game.

“We're not fake tough guys, we're not TV thugs,” Wade said. “We go out and play basketball. When it's time to get into the fight, we have a lot of guys who can get into it.”

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