Tom Thibodeau coached Kendrick Perkins in Boston, so he was able to take a mediator's view of Thursday's locker room spat between Perkins and Joakim Noah.
Noah walked into the Oklahoma City locker room following the Bulls' loss and was verbally confronted by Perkins, who basically told Noah to get out. Noah was there to visit former teammate Thabo Sefolosha.
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When asked about the disagreement, Thibodeau sided with Perkins.
"The only guys that usually come in (the opposing locker room) are guys who have been with the organization before," Thibodeau told reporters at Saturday's shootaround.
"If a guy has been with the organization -- we've had (Jannero) Pargo -- that's usually the case. If he's played and wants to come in and say hello to his old teammates and trainers and people like that, he does. We allow that. It's more or less frowned upon to go into someone's locker room where you haven't played."
The window on a former player being welcomed is large. On opening night this season, New York's Metta World Peace (known as Ron Artest in his Bulls days) stopped by the Bulls' locker room, even though he was traded away more than 11 years ago.
Noah shrugs off rift:
Joakim Noah tried to downplay his locker-room confrontation in Oklahoma City.
"It doesn't matter. It was nothing," Noah said at shootaround. "Just trying to chill with Thabo (Sefolosha); shouldn't have been in there. It's all good."
It wasn't a big deal, but it was an unusual occurrence that garnered national attention.
"I know that you guys are probably bored right now. We're losing. There's nothing to do. There's nothing else to talk about. But it's not a big deal," Noah added. "Just waking up in the morning having to talk to NBA security. Come on, let's move on."
Noah said he's never had a negative history with Perkins, although anyone who watched the Bulls-Celtics playoff series in 2009 might be led to believe otherwise.
"I shouldn't have been in that locker room in the first place," Noah said. "You know, just wanted to say hi to some loved ones. Thabo's family, that's it. It's not a big deal. Perk is an angry dude."
A healthier holiday:
With three days off, the Bulls are hoping they might have Luol Deng (sore Achilles), Kirk Hinrich (sore back) and Jimmy Butler (ankle sprain) back for the Christmas Day game at Brooklyn.
Hinrich participated in Saturday's shootaround but was ruled out before the game.
"He's moving better," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "The fact that he did shooting yesterday (and) today, to be able to go through shootaround, I think is a good sign."
Dion Waiters (wrist) and rookie Anthony Bennett (sick) did not play for the Cavs on Saturday.