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No surprise: Kendrick Perkins is fighting

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I hope Kendrick Perkins is right.

Our man Darnell Mayberry received an email earlier this week from the Thunder center’s publicist indicating that Perkins is trying to clear his name after a weekend arrest back home in Beaumont, Texas. He has hired an attorney. He insists he’s innocent of the complaints of public intoxication and disorderly conduct. He believes the police got out of hand in their handling of the situation.

My fingers are crossed.

The complaints that led to Perkins’ arrest early Saturday morning aren’t all that serious. Class C misdemeanors. Fines of no more than $500.

The whole thing isn’t going to grind the justice system in Texas to a halt.

But this is about image. Perkins was home for events that are part of his foundation, a foundation that tries to teach kids the importance of life skills and drug awareness. Then for him to be arrested for disorderly conduct (hello, life skills) and drug awareness (um, public intoxication), it just looked ridiculous and stupid.

Perkins never struck me as either.

(Of course, if this whole fight to clear his name turns up ugly details instead — 911 calls and police communications could be part of the legal maneuverings — that could open a new can of ugly worms for Perkins.)

Honestly, if you’d have given me the details of this past weekend’s incident, then told me to pick which Thunder player had been the on involved with it, I guarantee that Perkins wouldn’t have been among the first five guys that I picked. Heck, he might not have been in the first eight or nine. I would’ve probably lumped him into the no-way-they’d-do-that group of Nick Collison, Nazr Mohammed and Kevin Durant.

What happened in Beaumont just seems out of character for Perkins.

I hope that it was.

Maybe it was so out of character that it didn’t actually go down the way the police reported. Maybe it is all just a big misunderstanding. Maybe all of those indications that Perkins is really a good guy, a solid character, a part of the Thunder’s DNA are right after all.

Fingers crossed.

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Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›