As difficult as the last 48 hours have been for the Celtics, who are just now moving on from the loss of longtime center Kendrick Perkins, the team that acquired Perk on Thursday afternoon is likewise going through some pains of their own. The Oklahoma City Thunder aren't terribly happy to part with Jeff Green, their starting power forward for the last four years.
"I have unbelievable respect for him as a player and a person," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said of Green at his Friday news conference to discuss the trade. "He's a selfless person, and he's incredibly talented. We're thankful for what he's contributed this organization.
"But by the same token, I have to make really tough decisions in this job. That's part of my responsibility that I carry every day for this organization. As tough of a decision as it was, I felt like it was something that we had to do based on the information that we had, with the opportunity to bring in a player like Perkins that can address a need and fit with our timeline going forward."
Presti became emotional during his meeting with the media, at one point nearly breaking down into tears.
For a Celtics fan still mourning over Perk, Presti's sentiments come as food for thought — losing Perk is obviously tough, but the guy they're getting back has also proven his worth to a successful franchise. Jeff Green is no slouch.
Green, Nenad Krstic and the Celtics take on the L.A. Clippers on Saturday night. They'll have the chance to earn the respect of a new franchise now.