Candid athletes are a good thing.
All right, cool. With that out of the way, in an "All The Smoke" podcast that came out last Thursday, Kendrick Perkins claimed that his ex-Thunder teammate, James Harden, played poorly in the 2012 NBA Finals due to the hard-to-resist-allure of a Miami strip club cutting into his sleep.
For those who have reached the point in life where every season starts to blur together, the Thunder lost the series in five games, after beating San Antonio in six to advance out of the West. Notably OKC won Game One of the NBA Finals before dropping the last four, with the final three contests being held in Miami. Games 2 through 4 were decided by six points or less, and then the final game was a relative 15-point blowout.
That should be all you need to know.
Anyway, Perkins told hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson that Harden had a lousy series because his attention was diverted by the aforementioned hangout, specifically he cited the King of Diamonds.
Expressing the same expletive for both Harden and the series, Perkins stated "We couldn't get that motherfucker to buy a bucket in that motherfucker."
As transcribed by TMZ, Perkins said that his fellow teammates, which included Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka, had brought their A-game(s) for the showdown with the Big-3-era Miami Heat. Unfortunately for them (and, I suppose, still waiting OKC fans) Harden wasn't able to do the same.
"Man, James ain't give a shit and you know why," Perkins continued, "(...) motherfucking King of Diamonds and everything cut a hole in his hands."
He further claimed that the same distractions weren't present in the Western Conference Finals since San Antonio's night life isn't as enticing.
"In San Antonio, you didn't have a damn thing to do," Perkins added. "Shit, we got to motherfucking Miami, it was every-motherfucking-thing to do. We couldn't get that motherfucker to buy a bucket in that motherfucker."
In three games in Miami, Harden was 9-for-31 from the field (29 percent) and averaged 12 points per contest. 17 of those shots were three-pointers, of which he made four (23.5 percent). In comparison, his numbers for those categories during that season were 16.8 points per game on 49 percent shooting (39 percent from three), and yes we're fully aware of what a small sample size is, we're just trying to save you from Googling his Basketball Reference page (feel free to though).
You can watch the full episode below, with it hopefully synched to the comments in question (if not, either watch the whole thing or skip ahead to 1:26:45). Anyway, if ESPN wants my advice on how to up its oft-discussed ratings (they don't) let him talk like this on air: