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.
Spurs, Raptors open game with shot-clock violations to honor No. 24 Kobe Bryant (video)
A simple number retirement wasn’t enough to honor Kobe Bryant’s monumental career. The Lakers found the perfect solution, retiring both his No. 8 and No. 24.
Likewise, commemorating Bryant’s tragically short life warranted far more than a standard moment of silence. The Spurs and Raptors found a perfect solution, each team taking a shot-clock violation to open their game today in memory of Bryant, No. 24.
What a beautifully fitting tribute to an all-time great player.
Kobe Bryant, the legendary Laker star who was saluted byLeBron James on Saturday night, has died in a helicopter crash in Southern California, sources have confirmed to NBC Sports.
The crash took place in Calabasas, an area about 30 miles northeast of the Staples Center, where Kobe starred as a player for more than a decade. It is not far from the Mamba Academy athletic training center where Kobe was both an owner and an active participant. It was a foggy day in Southern California, which could have contributed to the crash.
The crash killed five people, of which Kobe was one.
Kobe was 41. He and his wife Vanessa have four daughters. Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna was aboard the helicopter with Kobe (they were on their way to one of her basketball games, along with a fellow teammate of Gianna’s and her parent).
Kobe had a 20-year NBA career that will send him to the Hall of Fame (once he becomes eligible). He was a five-time NBA Champion, a 15-time All-NBA player, NBA MVP, two-time scoring champion, two-time Finals MVP, 18-time All-Star, a two-time Gold Medalist for Team USA, and a player who influenced a generation who came up after him. His work ethic was legendary and was part of what rubbed off on LeBron and many others.
Kobe became synonymous with the Lakers and their brand — the loyalty Kobe generated with his fans was unmatched in the modern NBA.
LeBron trails only Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the scoring list, with LeBron 4,733 points back of Kareem. The scoring champ was on SiriusXM NBA Radio this past week and he also showed his appreciation for LeBron — and added LeBron could pass him.
“I think it is up to LeBron. If he wants to do it, he’ll do it. He has the talent. He has the opportunity. So it’s just up to him as to how he wants to end his career. I certainly cannot be upset about it. The reason that they keep these records is so that we learn how we are improving. And we learn how to teach the game, taking note of the accomplishments of the great players. So, hey, it’s a natural progression. I don’t have any problem with it.”
Rumor: J.R. Smith to get workout with Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers head into the trade deadline — where they have limited players and picks to make a move — and the buyout market looking for a secondary playmaker to come off the bench, plus some more shooting.
However, if the Lakers wanted Smith, they could have signed him at any point this summer. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
Smith evolved into a gunner off the bench, a high volume shooter and scorer who creates shots for himself, which won his Sixth Man of the Year back in 2013 but does not fit what the Lakers are looking for right now.
Also, Smith’s skills have been in decline. Last season, Smith, 34, played just 11 games for the Cavaliers — none after November — and struggled with his shot, hitting 30.8 percent from three and he had a dreadful true shooting percentage of 44.4 (he is a career 37.3 percent shooter from three). Smith did not want to be part of a rebuild in Cleveland and asked to be traded, but the team could not find a taker that wanted Smith’s contract and would send a pick back for him. Cleveland waived Smith in July and, while he met with the Bucks, he has been without a contract since.
Don’t read much into Smith getting a workout, there could be a lot of reasons for this. Maybe this gets him on another team’s radar, but it’s hard to see how he helps the Lakers take a step forward right now.