Udonis Haslem Thinks Kendrick Perkins Acts Tough for the Cameras

by April 05, 2012

In a possible preview of the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat and OKC Thunder delivered body blows to one another for 48 minutes last night. Following the Heat’s big win, Udonis Haslem threw a verbal shot at Thunder big man Kendrick Perskins, whom he considers somewhat of a studio gangster, if you will. From the Sun-Sentinel: “If Kendrick Perkins’ shove against Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook’s takedown of LeBron James created straight-up animus, the Heat and Thunder will have to wait until June 10, the earliest possible start date for the NBA Finals, to personally address such issues. But if a game the first week of April can make a statement, then the Heat potentially move forward not only with revived hope of yet securing the league’s best overall record, but also of rekindling the franchise’s image of tough as well as talented. ‘I think we definitely turned it up a little bit,’ forward Udonis Haslem said during a morning appearance on WQAM. ‘We were a little frustrated. We got two pretty hard fouls coming from those guys on that end.’ While both James and Haslem downplayed Westbrook’s foul as one of exuberance in the heat of the moment, Haslem pointedly took umbrage to Perkins’ shove against Wade. Recall, earlier this season Perkins derided James for drawing attention to Blake Griffin’s highlight-of-the-season dunk on Perkins. Perkins also has a push-come-to-shove history with the Heat dating to his tenure with the Boston Celtics. That had Haslem firing back on his radio appearance. ‘I think sometimes people just use the TVs and the cameras and the crowd, you know, to put on a show,’ Haslem said of Perkins. ‘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 seeing him being any tough guy that he puts on the show to be, at all … If we were playing at the park, I don’t think he’d be doing all that,’ Haslem said. While the Heat did not retaliate physically against the Thunder, Haslem spent the balance of the night giving Perkins an earful. ‘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. Where 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.’”