Kendrick Perkins is not a happy man at the moment.
After a sizzling 25-5 start to 2013-14, his Oklahoma City Thunder have dropped four of their last six games. Their last two trips to the floor have resulted in a double-digit loss to the lowly Utah Jazz and a 13-point defeat at the hands of the Denver Nuggets.
He's being left out of whatever fun this team has.
His playing time is as low as it's been since 2004-05 (19.2 minutes). He also apparently didn't get an invite for some off-court bonding.
He was close to reaching his boiling point, and apparently The Oklahoman's Thunder reporter Darnell Mayberry did something to set him off:
Whatever that something was remains uncertain.
Not surprisingly, Mayberry doesn't spend a lot of time discussing OKC's part-time center. Anything remotely negative he writes about Perkins isn't half as bad as what you'll read from some people.
Here's about the most critical thing I can find from Mayberry of late:
Heat check from Perk!!!— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) January 6, 2014
Here's what someone else has written about Perkins:
And Perkins is going after Mayberry? Hmm...
Then again, Perkins' comments don't necessarily have to be in response to something Mayberry did directly to him. Maybe the big man had taken offense to something Mayberry wrote about one of Perkins' teammates or the team in general.
But you wonder if Mayberry was just being critical of a ship we can all see is sinking and Perkins took that as personal. Mayberry isn't paid to be a cheerleader. He's an objective observer reporting things as he sees them.
That's not just within his rights—that's part of his job description.
As NBC Sports' Dan Feldman noted, though, Perkins wasn't necessarily out of line, either. His problem was not giving us all the information needed to correctly interpret his words:
If he has a problem with Mayberry, Perkins definitely has a right bring public attention to it. The media certainly airs their grievances with the people they cover for the world to see. Perkins is entitled to do the same.
But if he wants to do that, do it. Bring up specific issues and make a case. Don’t make vague accusations and then delete them.
Otherwise we're left with this—a seemingly baseless claim.
Maybe Perkins knows something the rest of us don't.
If he does, he needs to share that with us. Or this comes off as nothing more than an empty rant.