DALLAS — If Thunder center Kendrick Perkins is looking for a dance partner for the technical foul tango he’s trying to cook up in the Western Conference finals, he better find someone other than Tyson Chandler.
The Mavericks center made it clear that he’s not interested. And he did it before Perkins called him out before Wednesday’s practice.
“Me and Tyson never got along. I’m serious,” Perkins said. “He don’t like me, I don’t like him and that’s pretty much how it’s been. Everybody always looks at me as kind of like a dirty player if you’re on the opposite team, but he’s just as dirty as anybody else.”
Perkins appeared to be the instigator of the friction in Game 1, getting into Chandler’s chest in the first minute, resulting in a double-technical for the pair before either one of them had worked up a good lather.
“He came at me and I think it was just a situation to keep the game under control they tech’d both of us up,” Chandler said. “But I’m not going to get into it with him. I’m not buying into all of the crap.”
That aforementioned “crap” Chandler spoke of would include the bad blood between two big men that Chandler suggests is a figment of Perkins’ vivid imagination.
“No, there’s no history at all,” Chandler said. “I have nothing against him. He won a championship with the Boston Celtics, and that’s where I’m trying to take my team. I mean, I’ve got respect for him, what he was able to accomplish. But all the chippy stuff, the after-the-ball stuff, that’s all nonsense and I’m not going to get involved with it.”
“Honestly, my motive is not to get into it with Kendrick Perkins,” Chandler continued. “My motive is to make my team better when I’m on the floor and give my team an opportunity to win. My team is not going to be better with me off the floor, so there’s no reason for me to get into it with him. The only benefit that’s going to have is me off the floor and giving them a better chance to win, so I’m not getting into it with him.”
When I raised this issue with Chandler Monday on Episode 56 of the Hang Time Podcast he laughed it off and insisted that there wouldn’t be any problems between he and Perkins.
But we knew better. When you take two of the most intense and feisty big men in the league and tell them they have to share the same space in the paint for anywhere from four to seven games for the right to play for a championship, there’s bound to be some chippy behavior.
This series can do without the technical fouls. There’s too much quality basketball to played without someone turning this thing into some Knicks-Heat-style slugfest from yesteryear.
There’s no doubt that both of these guys are physical players and neither wants to take a step back. Chandler is right, though, there is nothing to be gained by either team if one or both of these guys is on the bench or tossed out of the game for any foolishness.
For the sake of our viewing pleasure, keep it clean fellas.