For a guy who was all over YouTube and twitter as the latest victim of a monster Blake Griffin dunk, Kendrick Perkins was philosophical after the game.
“It happens,” Perkins said in the corner of the Thunder locker room. “A the end of the day if you’re a shot blocker, you’re going to get dunked on. It was a great play that he made. Obviously I wish I wasn’t in it, but it was a great play that he made.”
It all happened so fast, neither Perkins nor Griffin said they were sure how it came together.
“It’s the timing of the play, it’s the timing of when I got the pass, and also the late rotation,” Griffin said. “If all that comes together at the right time, then those thins happen. It’s not like I caught the ball and thought ‘okay, let’s go make something happen.’ It just came together.”
So how did he know it was huge?
“(D’Andre Jordan’s) reaction is always my gauge on what the dunk was like,” Griffin said.”I think that time he screamed, grabbed me and bear hugged me. I figured he thought it was cool.”
Perkins said he was just trying to protect the rim.
“I didn’t know what happened. I just knew I was trying to get to the rotation,” Perkins said, adding it was a clean dunk, not a foul by Griffin (as some had suggested on twitter). “Our defensive coverage had broke down and that’s what it was.”
What it was is the dunk of the year. And Perkins is going to be seeing himself on highlight packages for a long time.
Last year, Russell Westbrook had a historic season on his way to the MVP award, with James Harden and Kawhi Leonard right on his heels. But heading into this season, the dynamic for MVP — and many of the NBA awards — feels very different and wide open.
In this latest PBT Extra, I lay out my preseason predictions for every award — LeBron James for MVP, Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year, and on down the list. There are a few leaps and surprises in there (predicting Most Improved or Sixth Man before the season is a crap shoot, so why not gamble).
Now the predictions season is over, let’s get on to the games.
Jazz: Dante Exum undergoing surgery after shoulder injury
The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum who suffered a separated left shoulder on October 6 vs. Phoenix.
After further evaluation, Exum (6-6, 190, Australia) has elected to undergo surgery to stabilize the AC joint of his left shoulder. The surgery is scheduled to take place Tuesday, October 24 in Los Angeles. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.
Exum (obviously) didn’t receive a contract extension before today’s deadline, so he’ll become a free agent next summer. After one full missed season already and two years of limited effectiveness, it’s not even clear Utah will extend Exum a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The former No. 5 pick almost certainly won’t meet the starter criteria, which means his qualifying offer would be worth $4,333,931 (down from $6,619,903 based on his draft slot).