During its first 2 1/2 seasons of existence, the Thunder was viewed as a "soft" team.

Then Kendrick Perkins arrived in a Feb. 24, 2011, trade with the Boston Celtics. OKC instantaneously became much less gooey and has solidified itself a little more each day since.

There is perhaps nothing more insulting to an athlete than to be called soft. Thunder players certainly didn't like being thought of as soft before Perkins arrived, and they don't like being reminded of it now.

"I never thought we were soft," point guard Russell Westbrook said. "I don't know where that came from. I never heard that, honestly. This is my first time hearing it, so I really don't have an answer for you."