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Joakim Noah admits he shouldn’t have been in Thunder’s locker room following incident with Kendrick Perkins

Dec 21, 2013, 8:00 PM EDT

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In today’s NBA, team loyalties aren’t what they once were. Many of the players have friendships off the court that cross team lines, and the only time we ever see anything close to animosity from most are over those 48 minutes when they’re competing on the court.

But locker rooms remain sacred places, reserved for current team personnel only, with the exception occasionally being made for a former member of the organization if they were well-respected or left on friendly terms.

That explains the reaction of Kendrick Perkins following the Thunder’s win over the Bulls on Thursday, when he had strong words for Joakim Noah who entered the OKC locker room to chat with Thabo Sefolosha, a player with whom he shares international ties.

“Get your ass up outta here,” Perkins told Noah, after a brief exchange.

Noah downplayed the severity of the incident on Saturday, but he did admit he was wrong by entering the opposing team’s locker room.

From K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

“I shouldn’t have been in that locker room in the first place and, you know, just wanted to say hi to some loved ones,” Noah said following Saturday’s morning shootaround. “Thabo (Sefolosha) is family; that’s it. It’s not a big deal. Perk is an angry dude. It’s all good.”

Noah said he had no history with Perkins despite facing him during the Bulls’ epic 2009 playoff series with the Celtics that stretched seven games. Thibodeau coached Perkins then and isn’t surprised that Perkins asked Noah to leave.

“That’s normal. That’s usually how teams respond,” Thibodeau said. “The only guys that usually come in are guys who have been with the organization before.”

Players from opposing teams talk to each other all the time after games have been completed, but protocol is to wait outside the locker room or to catch up while heading to the team bus walking through the arena’s tunnels.

Perkins plays the game with a scowl on his face, so Noah’s “angry dude” comment is definitely on point. But he was wrong for going in the Thunder locker room in the first place, and he had no problem saying so a few days later.

  1. pjb170 - Dec 21, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    “Sacred places” lol, gimme a break. Silly.

    • imakcds - Dec 23, 2013 at 7:15 PM

      never played before, I see.

  2. 00maltliquor - Dec 21, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Don’t apologize Jo! do it again next time you’re in Oklahoma! And this time sit right in front of Perks locker while casually tying your shoes.

  3. biggestredmiami - Dec 22, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    I understand Perk’s reasoning here, but I am also pretty sure that every other player on every other team hates Joakim Noah too.

  4. dezglobal - Dec 22, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Perkins is always upset about something.

    • maracineanu16 - Dec 22, 2013 at 2:04 AM

      I think that’s because he is stuck in mediocrity

      • ProBasketballPundit - Dec 22, 2013 at 9:28 PM

        He’s stuck in something that smells a lot worse than mediocrity.

      • maracineanu16 - Dec 23, 2013 at 8:03 AM

        @probaskteballpundit
        yeah, You are right. I just wonder why didn’t Thunder use the amnesty provision on him yet?

    • maracineanu16 - Dec 22, 2013 at 2:11 AM

      By saying this – I mean his personal effort

  5. muhangis - Dec 22, 2013 at 5:24 AM

    I’d have said the same thing. Ppl’s main issue is that it came out of Perk, but if not Perkins it would have been someone else.

  6. davidly - Dec 22, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    The assertion in the opening paragraph has absolutely no basis in fact to back it up.

  7. footballer4ever - Dec 22, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Has anyone thought that maybe Noah was just “passing the dutch” or getting a dutch passed to him? Hmmm! It makes you wonder….

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