OKLAHOMA CITY—Joakim Noah and Thunder center Kendrick Perkins exchanged words following the Bulls’ 107-95 loss Thursday night against Oklahoma City.
Noah entered the Thunder locker room with former teammate Thabo Sefolosha, the ex-Bulls swingman and current Thunder starting shooting guard. Perkins, known for his physical on-court nature, didn’t take kindly to the Bulls’ All-Star center’s presence, who is no shrinking violet himself, leading to the two big men exchanging words.
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It began with Perkins asking, “They just let anybody up in the locker room,” and culminating in him instructing Noah to, “Get your [expletive] up out of here,” followed by a profanity.
Later, while walking with Bulls team security to the team’s bus, Noah passed Perkins, who was having a separate conversation. The two again exchanged words, with Noah much more animated, but it didn’t escalate further.
Sefolosha had previously visited the visiting locker room in Chesapeake Energy Arena, something he customarily does and did as recently as the two teams’ October preseason game in Wichita, Kan. The Bulls often welcome former teammates; current Rockets swingman Ronnie Brewer visited the Bulls’ locker room last night in Houston.
Other Thunder players, such as the All-Star duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, were on the opposite side of the locker room during the incident, so they couldn’t see who Perkins was addressing. But when informed by reporters that it was Noah, they were amused, jokingly blamed Sefolosha and also seemingly supported Perkins’ actions.
Perkins has previously had an off-court incident last season with Memphis Grizzlies All-Star power forward Zach Randolph after both were ejected for an on-court confrontation and the incident carried over to the tunnel. Randolph was fined for the incident, but Perkins was not.