OKLAHOMA CITY – While his teammates’ minds are likely heavily invested in the NBA Finals series against the Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins is reserving his mental energy for subjects of greater philosophical importance.
The low-post big man has confessed to struggling lately with a question that strikes him each time he steps onto the court: Can a free throw ever truly be free?
“Basketball is my life, so it’d be foolish for me to blindly accept everything I’m told about the game,” mused Perkins. “We call it a ‘free throw,’ but where does the freedom come in? As it results from a foul, the circumstances are involuntary, bound by the shackles of the rulebook. If the shot is truly free, then shouldn’t it originate from my own determination and not the physical or environmental causal factors present in the field of play?”
Thunder coach Scott Brooks, upon hearing Perkins’ query, quickly dismissed himself from the discussion.
“Jesus, not this again.”
Perkins accepts that particular elements of the free throw are colored with an inherent freedom, but he is hesitant to describe a shot as free just because it is without obstruction.
Stroking his pubic goatee and contemplating the concept with an immensely troubled countenance, Perkins deferred the question to teammate Serge Ibaka.
“I do not know what this means when you say ‘free,’” said Ibaka. “This is very confusing, I just like play basketballs. Go Thunder! Go USA!”
With the Thunder down two games heading into game five, Perkins hopes that he can resolve his philosophical quandary and devote his full attention to the series. Unfortunately, he doesn’t believe this will be possible.
“I think about a lot of heavy stuff, so as soon as I get over this free throw thing, chances are something else is gonna start chewing at me,” said Perkins. “Like what influence does hip-hop culture have on the receding of LeBron’s hairline? If LeBron were to fall in a forest and no one’s around, do his whimpers actually make a sound? These are the things that keep me up at night.”