Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins responded on Sunday to critical comments made by the Sacramento Kings' Rudy Gay on Saturday, calling the Kings forward "a virus," according to Royce Young of ESPN.
On Saturday, Gay replied to comments made by Perkins earlier this season in which Perkins diminished the Kings' start to the season. "He's a clown to me. He might as well play with his face painted," Gay said.
Perkins responded in kind on Sunday, referencing a series of trades in recent seasons that have seen Gay move from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Toronto Raptors and finally to the Kings.
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"I'd rather be a clown than be a virus," Perkins said. "At least if I paint my face, I can wash the paint off. A virus gets in your bloodstream. You can't get rid of that."
Perkins' remarks, according to Young, also refer to the relative improvements of each team after trading Gay.
In addition to his spat with Gay, Perkins has received criticism from other players about his physical style of play.
"It's easy for a guy to talk noise through the media," Perkins said. "Like I say, we always walk out the same way, and I don't see none of that. If I see them in the summertime, I don't see none of that."
"I'm glad I'm on their mind, though...I'm glad they go to sleep thinking about me at night."
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The Kings and Thunder face off on Tuesday evening in Sacramento. The Kings and the Thunder are both 11-13 so far this season.
- Brad Rowland