On Wednesday night the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Chesapeake Energy Arena by a score of 107-97 extending their winning streak to six now after losing on opening night to the Los Angeles Clippers to bring their record to 6-1.
It would seem as if the major story line in this game would be that the Grizzlies are making a name for themselves in the Western Conference following such a outstanding road victory in the midst of their streak but it wasn’t. The major headline was the confrontation between Thunder center Kendrick Perkins and Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph, who are no strangers to “confronting” each other, which occurred on the court and also near the locker room.
With 2:05 remaining in the game and Russell Westbrook at the free throw line, Perkins and Randolph began jawing with one another and thanks to the modern day advancement of NBA technology it was caught on microphone. Perkins told Randolph “I’ll meet you by the bus” only to have Randolph reply “I’ll beat your a–.” After the war of words the two players were quickly ejected by referee Ken Mauer and sent back to their respective locker rooms.
Following their ejections there were reports that a confrontation arose in a hallway near the locker rooms although a police captain in the building told the Oklahoman newspaper “an altercation did not take place and there is no investigation in place.” The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported that according to a witness, both players “tried to get to each other but security prevented (a) physical altercation” and the whole ordeal was “playground stupid.”
Despite everything being seemingly settled the NBA announced on Thursday that they would be launching their own investigation into the mater. There is no word as of yet how long the investigation will take place or what the possible penalties could be. During the Thunder/Grizzlies thrilling, seven game first round playoff series in the 2011 NBA postseason Perkins and Randolph got into several verbal spats and even had to be separated a few times.
The Thunder and Grizzlies will meet each other again on January 31 at home again and the focus on that match up will not only be the game itself but also how these two physical competitors interact with one another.