Kendrick Perkins made his debut for the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night. He only had to play 20 minutes, contributing six points, nine rebounds and two assists to help OKC to a blowout victory over Washington.
Will the Celtics miss seeing that kind of production out of big Perk? Nah. They can get those numbers out of anyone. One of the guys they got back for Perk at the trade deadline last month, Nenad Krstic, is regularly dropping double-doubles to put his predecessor to shame.
Will the C’s miss Perk’s toughness on the low post? Yeah, a little bit, probably. But Doc Rivers‘ defensive schemes are always team oriented, and this club has guys who can pick up the slack in Perk’s absence.
This team will be fine without Perk — at least his play, that is. What the Celtics might really miss about their departed big man is his attitude. Forget about the way he plays — this is about how he thinks, talks and acts as a man.
Perk’s a straight shooter. Always has been, always will be. That’s the one thing the Celtics will never forget about Perk, and they can never replace — he’s an honest guy who speaks his mind.
So the Celtics probably didn’t feel too much strife Monday night over six points and nine boards. But if they heard his comments earlier in the day, when he called Phil Jackson “arrogant” and Pau Gasol “soft” in an interview about the Lakers, they might have teared up a little.
That’s the kind of stuff you can only get from Perk.
Perk doesn’t sugar-coat things for you. The big man was in Boston for nearly eight seasons before last month’s trade, and if you were around the C’s locker room during that time, you knew how the guy operated — he gave you the pure, blunt, unabashed facts. It’s a wonder Paul Pierce was the one dubbed “The Truth.”
When the Celtics weren’t playing well, Perk said so. When Perk didn’t like someone, he said so. When he had issues with a heated rival like the almighty Lakers, you’d better believe he said so.
Honesty like that is hard to come by in today’s NBA. No one wants to make headlines by saying the wrong thing, so all too often, you’re left with truism and cliche rather than substance. That’s the rule; Perk’s the exception. And if you like a little controversy to spice up your day, then you’ve got to love that exception.
You need a guy like that on a championship team. You need someone to be honest with you, even when the going gets tough. The Celtics lost that when they traded Kendrick Perkins. Let’s hope it doesn’t cost them.
What do you miss most about Kendrick Perkins? Share your thoughts below.