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Kendrick Perkins Tells Joakim Noah to Leave the Thunder Locker Room

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Yep, Perk is still Perk.

That doesn't look like a happy get together.
That doesn't look like a happy get together.
Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

Via SI's Point Forward:

"They just let anybody in the locker room?" Perkins asked Noah, according to The Oklahoman. After Noah volunteered to leave if his presence was unwanted, Perkins replied: "Get your a– up out of here."

CSNChicago.com reported that Noah accompanied Thabo Sefolosha into the locker room, and that Perkins and Noah exchanged words in the locker room and again after Noah left for the Bulls’ bus. The site characterized the conversation as "brief" and "nothing" respectively, while DailyThunder.com noted that the other Thunder players present generally pointed the finger at Sefolosha for inviting an opponent into the locker room in the first place.

Be sure to check out Ben Golliver's full article, as it's got some nice analysis on the whole stigma surrounding letting outsiders into the locker room. That aside, it's really interesting how sacred of a place the locker room is considered. There always seems to be some story floating around the sports world about the unique atmosphere that it presents reporters and those from outside. When the media isn't present, it's a place where the team can let out their real emotions, outside of the public eye. When the media walks in, that privacy ends, but emotions can still ride high.

From an outsider's perspective, this doesn't look like one of those emotional exchanges, as the result of the game was far from close. But for those who saw the game and know what Perk does in these types of situations, it seems pretty clear that this was emotionally charged. Noah was drawing fouls all game, and Perk was visibly frustrated. Perk was so riled up that I saw him get up off the bench during live action on two separate occasions to congratulate his teammates for a good defensive stand. So I'm led to believe that Perk did this specifically because of what went on that night, but I wasn't there, so I really have no idea.

If you want to even read into this further, you could infer that this has some potential impact on next year's free agency. It's a well-known fact that the Thunder will struggle to re-sign Sefolosha next season, and that Westbrook has been frustrated with Sefolosha's offensive hesitance in the past. Now, with most teammates looking down upon Thabo bringing a fellow Francophone into the locker room, he might find himself not wanting to return to Oklahoma City next season. Of course, that's a huge line of conjecture....but it's still fun to think about.