The Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder played in a game the Heat won by five earlier this week, and there was some chippiness involved in the match-up. A couple hard fouls were exchanged, some free throw line trash talk expressed, and mean mugs were also aplenty. All of which lead Udonis Haslem onto Miami Sports Talk radio yesterday, and motivated him to explain why he felt strongly that Kendrick Perkins is a super fake tough guy.
Here’s what Haslem said about Perk according to the Palm Beach Post:
“I think sometimes people just use the cameras and the TV and the crowd to put on a show,” Haslem told Joe Rose on WQAM-560. “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 to call fouls, and stop the game, and different things like that. You know, I don’t see him being the tough guy that he puts on the show to be, at all.”
Haslem said Perkins “got under my skin a little bit.”
“And I think when I came in, and I was at the free throw line with him, I think 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.”
Haslem said there is “definitely a line.”
“Knowing Russell Westbrook personally, I just don’t think he’s a dirty player,” Haslem said. “I think he was honestly trying to make a hustle play and take LeBron away from getting a layup. It looked bad, coming from behind obviously, with the type of athlete that LeBron is, and just the way it happened. So it looked bad. That was a hustle play. I definitely think Kendrick Perkins was trying to be a dirty player, and send a message…. If we were playing at the park, I don’t think he would be doing all that.”
Haslem continued: “Where I’m from, all the talking and the playing like that, at some point it comes to a situation where you have to back it up,” Haslem said. “And he’s never had to back it up because, obviously, the referees always step in.”
It will be interesting to see how these guys respond to each other in a potential Finals match-up later on this summer. It’s also sort of ironic that Haslem is essentially saying that Perkins will talk junk and act tough while knowing things will never escalate based on the setting he’s acting tough and talking junk in. In this particular case, an NBA game with bright lights, guarded closely by referees and security details all over the arena. Yet at the same time, Udonis will infer that he is the tougher guy for real, while he talks his junk, acting hard at his house, on the phone with a radio guy.
But I thoroughly enjoy when guys do any and all of this though, so I’m not trying to discourage it in anyway.