By Ben Golliver
A back-and-forth between Thunder center Kendrick Perkins and Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph that resulted in both players being ejected during the fourth quarter of a Wednesday night game reportedly didn't end at the final buzzer. Multiple reports indicated that Perkins and Randolph continued their argument during a post-game exchange in Chesapeake Energy Arena's locker room area.
The on-court exchange began following a Russell Westbrook free throw with 2:05 remaining and the Grizzlies winning 101-90. As Thunder players high-fived each other, Randolph warned Perkins that he would "beat your [expletive]," and Perkins responded with words of his own. The baseline referee, standing just a few feet away from both players, immediately ejected them.
Following the game, the Oklahoman reported that an "altercation" between Perkins and Randolph took place "near the locker rooms." After an initial report indicated that police at the arena were investigating the exchange, the paper clarified that there was no investigation, citing a police captain, but reported that "yelling and walls and doors being hit" could be heard. Perkins reportedly declined an interview request.
DailyThunder.com reported that both police at the arena and Thunder officials denied that a physical confrontation took place and reported that the exchange was merely verbal in nature.
The Thunder and police say no altercation happened between Perk and Zach Randolph. I asked an OKC police officer what happened and he smiled and said "no comment."
Source that witnessed it says Randolph and Perk didn't physically confront each other but were just "cussing back and forth" in the tunnel.
The Associated Press provided Randolph's brief statement.
After the game, Randolph said all was settled between him and Perkins.
"There's a lot of bluffing going on on the court, that's all," Randolph said. "And I don't bluff."
ESPN.com reported on Thursday that the NBA is investigating the post-game incident.
Memphis went on to win the game 107-97. Randolph finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and one block in 36 minutes. Perkins finished with eight points and three rebounds in 30 minutes. Video via EyeOnBasketball