Boston Celtics: Kendrick Perkins
During the first television timeout in Monday's Boston Celtics-Oklahoma City Thunder matchup, Boston paid tribute to its former center with a minute-long video that culminated with a shot of Perkins hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy inside a champagne-covered Celtics locker room in 2008 before three simple words appeared: "Thank you Perk."
Coming back onto the floor, with many players on both sides fixated on the screen, Perkins raised both hands to salute the TD Garden crowd as he was serenaded with a prolonged standing ovation.
But as he learned so harshly in February -- when he was dealt to Oklahoma City with Nate Robinson at the trade deadline in exchange for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and a future first-round draft pick -- this is a business and you have to leave your emotions on the sideline.
So as the crowd continued to roar, Perkins gave one final wave near midcourt, then walked toward where the action was set to resume, doing what he does best: barking at a referee about a previous foul call.
Welcome back, Perk. We missed you.
But there's one blemish in his box score that really rubs Perkins the wrong way: A single turnover. It came after Perkins was whistled for an offensive foul in the second quarter for lowering his shoulder into old friend Kevin Garnett while trying to create some space in the lane.
And while he's hardly a stranger to offensive fouls (the moving screen is more his speed), Perkins couldn't help but lament the whistle.
"Probably the first charge of [Garnett's] career," he sighed.
"I told him, 'Oh man, you know you don't take charges.' And he was like, 'Finally! I got one. I finally got one.' And I'm thinking, 'Man, he got one on me.'"
For all his defensive talents, Garnett has rarely even attempted to draw charges during his five seasons in Boston. Perkins even shunned his trademark scowl when he realized what had occurred, simply smirking instead, as his third foul sent him to the bench for the rest of the half.
BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics honored Kendrick Perkins during the first timeout of Monday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The video montage ends with Perkins hoisted the Larry O'Brien trophy after winning the 2007 NBA Finals before the words, "Thank you, Perk" appeared on the screen as the crowd roared. Perkins acknowledged the crowd as he returned to the floor.
* On hearing that Doc Rivers called him a Celtic for Life: “It means a lot. I still got a close relationship with Doc. I got a close relationship with [Rajon] Rondo, [Kevin Garnett], Paul [Pierce] and Ray [Allen]. When you win a championship together, you have a bond that no one can break. You can’t break that bond. I left one great situation to go to another great situation. Not every player who gets traded can say that.”
* On how he’ll feel playing against his old team: “It will be emotional, I’m sure. But you have to remind yourself where you are and remember that it’s a basketball game. You had friendships with these guys, so it’s hard. But I’m going to have to put my scowl on because I’m pretty sure KG is going to have his scowl on.”
* On this year’s Celtics: “They’re going to make the playoffs. And whatever team that they play, I’ll feel sorry for that team. (The Celtics) will be all right.”
* On losing so much weight: “I did it to take the pressure of my knees. I did it over the summer and through the lockout because I wanted to come back healthy. Last year, I just wasn’t myself, physically. It was a new team and I wasn’t 100 percent. I’m still not there totally, but I’m getting close. And I haven’t lose any strength. I’m what you call Country Strong.”
* On his role with the Thunder: “I’m like a big brother to a lot of these guys. I feel old, but I know I’m not old. My role on the floor hasn’t changed, but I feel like I have to be more of a leader. And I still text Paul and KG for advice on how to lead, how to approach certain situations. That is all new to me. But the family isn’t going anywhere.”
* On dinner with Rajon Rondo Sunday night: “We didn’t have much to talk about it because we talk on the phone almost every day. I was like, ‘what’s up?’ And he was like, ‘what’s up?’ He paid. He comes to Oklahoma City on his birthday so I’ll take him out then.”
Boston sent Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City in exchange for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and a future first-round draft pick. Green is sitting out the season after undergoing surgery this month to repair an aortic aneurysm, while Krstic bolted overseas this summer amidst the lockout (the Celtics will likely collect that draft pick this summer; it's the Clippers' pick and top-10 protection is unlikely to come into play given how well Los Angeles has played at the start of the season).
Boston's struggles ever since the deal has only made it more unpopular in the court of public opinion. The Thunder arrive with an 11-2 record (second-best in the NBA behind only Chicago at 12-2), while the Celtics are limping through a 4-7 start (this after the lack of a healthy center didn't aid their cause in a second-round playoff exit last season).
After Saturday's loss in Indiana, Celtics coach Doc Rivers was asked about going up against Perkins for the first time.
"That will be tough for me, that will be different," Rivers told reporters. "Perk's a Celtic -- I don’t give a crap what uniform he has on, he’s a Celtic for life. And he knows that."
(h/t: Red's Army)
BEAUMONT, Texas -- Authorities have charged Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kendrick Perkins with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and public intoxication after an altercation early Saturday morning in South Texas.
A statement from police in Beaumont, Texas, said officers saw a large crowd outside The Ticket night club just after 2 a.m., and received complaints of fights and pepper spray inside.
An officer saw about 50 people inside around Perkins, who police said was attempting to fight the club's manager. The statement said the crowd pushed Perkins out the back door of the club, where he continued to yell obscenities and start other fights.
Perkins was arrested and taken to Jefferson County jail. According to KFDM-TV, which first reported the incident, he was released after posting $150 bond. The misdemeanor charges are punishable by fines.
Click HERE to read the full story.
Marquis Daniels: Daniels returned to the Celtics this past season intent on filling the role he was unable to during the 2009-10 campaign, largely due to torn ligaments in his left thumb that resulted in a 28-game absence. The results were much better the second time around, as Daniels, finally healthy for the first three months of the season, filled in behind Paul Pierce exactly the way the Celtics were hoping he'd be able to. Gliding around the court, Daniels was an accomplished scorer at times but also housed the ability to defend, rebound and feed his teammates the ball for quality looks. It was all going well until Feb. 6, when Daniels' collision with Gilbert Arenas left him with a bruised spinal cord, sadly altering his career as well as the Celtics' season. It was one of the scariest and most unfortunate injuries in recent Celtics history, and in a move that showed just how unforgiving the business side of the NBA can be, the Celtics shipped Daniels to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for a conditional 2017 second-round draft pick to clear a roster spot.
Season in a paragraph: For the first 50 games of the 2010-11 season, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge expressed unconditional love for the roster Boston had carried out of training camp. Then Daniels suffered the scary spine injury against the Orlando Magic, leaving the team dangerously thin at the wing position, and, coupled with inconsistent bench play, led to a massive overhaul of the reserve unit. You know the story from there, Perkins and Robinson were shipped to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, and a future first-round pick; Daniels got flipped to Sacramento, while Erden and Harangody went to Cleveland, both of those moves aimed at freeing up roster space that would later be used to ink Troy Murphy and Sasha Pavlovic (see their grades here). Johnson, a D-League center with plenty of upside, got signed to a 10-day deal at the deadline with Boston short on bodies, but couldn't get an extended stay when the team decided to ink Carlos Arroyo for backup point guard depth.
Season highlight: Robinson made 11 starts during the 2010-11 season and averaged 12.8 points, 4.1 assists, and 3.1 rebounds over 33.2 minutes per game. He simply couldn't replicate that production as a reserve... Perkins made a stunning early return from offseason ACL surgery and chipped in 7 points and 6 rebounds over 17:10 in his late January debut against Cleveland. By his sixth game, he was playing nearly 33 minutes, chipping in 13 points and 12 rebounds in a loss to Dallas... So much was made about Daniels' health entering the 2010-11 season, but he appeared in 49 of the first 50 games, missing just one contest due to a family issue. Two days before the freak spine injury, he chipped in 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting over just 13 minutes against Dallas... Rookie Erden logged seven starts and produced a 6-1 record during that span, playing through the pain of shoulder and groin injuries to provide Boston a center presence when its more veteran big men were unable to stay on the floor... Harangody exploded for 17 points and 11 rebounds over 27 minutes in January win over Toronto (he would score just 24 more points in a Boston uniform before being dealt)... Johnson played 17 minutes the same day he was signed by Boston, chipping in 6 points and a rebound in a loss to Denver the night of the trade deadline.
Season lowlight: The lives of all six players ultimately changed during the frightening sequence when Daniels got snagged on the shoulder of Orlando's Gilbert Arenas and collapsed to the Garden floor in early February. Daniels got stretchered off the court and, once his spine condition came to light, it was clear his season was over, forcing Ainge's hand to make the deals that shook up the roster.
Final grade: It's impossible to assign a single letter grade for all six players, but it's fair to say this group contributed far more than those they were replaced by. Erden and Daniels earned a B on our midseason report card (and those marks probably would have stayed the same), while Harangody (C) and Robinson (C-) didn't grade out quite as well (likewise, those seem like fair marks overall). Perkins deserves a strong mark for simply getting himself back on the court so quickly and being an instant contributor.
Teacher's notes: It's unfortunate that we don't have some sort of alternate universe simulator, where we could find out how the Celtics might have fared with their original roster intact. Even if Daniels' injury never occurred, the Celtics were going to have to think about trading Perkins at the deadline because of his looming free-agent status, but it's hard to imagine the Celtics being so eager to pull off a move if it wasn't for the lack of depth at the wing. If Jeff Green pans out the way Boston brass envision, the Erden/Harangody deal might ultimately be the toughest one to swallow given the promise that Erden showed and the way he battled through so many injuries just to keep this team afloat early on (especially after Troy Murphy and Co. gave this team nothing down the stretch).
What's next?: Perkins is locked up long term in Oklahoma City, the Thunder offering the kind of contract that Boston couldn't this offseason. Erden, Harangody, and Robinson each have another year on their deals, while Daniels will be unrestricted free agent if he's able to resume his basketball career. It's hard to imagine anyone beyond Johnson -- a young player the Celtics really, really liked -- breezing back through the Hub any time soon.
Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.
Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on the departed's 2010-11 season? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
"I would wait until after the year was over. I'll put it that way," Rivers told Boston sports radio WEEI (850 AM). "I do think Jeff Green has a chance to be a starter for us in the future and a hell of a basketball player, and [Nenad] Krstic can help, but making that trade at the time we made that trade, that made it very tough for us. And not only that, we added other pieces as well that we tried to fit in, so it was just a lot of moving parts to a team that the advantage that we had was that we had continuity, everybody else was new. Chicago was new and the Heat were new. They couldn't fall back on what we could fall back on with our starting five, and once we made that trade, we took that advantage away."
"Yeah, I'm definitely rooting for them," Pierce said of the Thunder. "I'm rooting for Perk and [Tony Allen]. I actually texted them before their games [Sunday]."
Pierce said his message was simple.
"I just wished them luck, [and told them to] lead their teams," said Pierce. "They got valuable experience that they can bring to their teams, so I just told them that and wished them luck."
--PERKINS REBOUNDING AFTER 'EMOTIONAL' TRADE--
Like most of us, Kendrick Perkins never saw it coming. Two and one-half weeks ago, he was a Boston Celtic, going through the morning shootaround at the Pepsi Center in Denver. There was a game that night against the Nuggets, although the injured Perkins was going to be spectator, having injured his knee two nights earlier in Golden State. Perkins, of course, never made it back to the Pepsi Center for the game that night. After the shootaround, his agent, Bob Myers, called and told him of the possibility of a deal. Perkins had no clue.
Rivers revealed that he put a stop to an initial deal involving Perkins, but swayed when Oklahoma City offered the Jeff Green/Nenad Krstic package. "At the time I talked to him, it was a different deal and I did put a stop to that one. But I also told him that something might still happen,'' Rivers said.
The trade either receives an approving thumbs-up or it's met with a thumbs-down -- and considerable disgust.
The bold decision of Danny Ainge, Celtics president and director of basketball operations, to deal one-fifth of the starting five from the franchise's 17th-title team remains a hot-button topic. An attendee's question during Friday's 5th annual sports analytics conference hosted by MIT's Sloan School of Management proved it.
Why trade Perkins -- part of a multiplayer deal that sent the center and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and a 2012 first-round pick -- when Boston's window to win is now?
No matter the statistical data that's applied, it's clear the decision still has its head-scratching detractors.
Click HERE to read the full story.
"We had a unique opportunity to enter into discussions with Kendrick to solidify his future with our organization," general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. "We are pleased to know that he will be a part of our core group now and in the future. Kendrick's blue-collar, team-first approach aligns with the vision we hold for building a sustainable team in the Oklahoma City community."
Click HERE to read more on the extension.
--Forsberg's analysis: As part of Thursday's deadline deal that sent Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City in exchange for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic, the Thunder trimmed a tiny bit of cap space (a little over a $1 million), which gave them just enough additional wiggle room to help hammer out a contract extension with Perkins. With Boston over the salary cap, the team couldn't offer more than a four-year, $22 million extension this season, while Oklahoma City was able to use that small cap space to offer Perkins as much as $13 million more on a four-year deal (For a more detailed explanation, hop HERE).
Here's the key passage from Larry Coon's CBA FAQ explaining how this works:
Only teams under the cap can renegotiate a contract, and the salary in the then-current season can be increased only to the extent that the team has room under the cap. Raises in subsequent years are limited to 10.5 percent of the salary in the first renegotiated season. The renegotiation may not contain a signing bonus.
Kudos to Oklahoma City for getting a deal done, not only facing the prospect that Perkins could test the free-agent waters after this season, but facing a March 1 deadline to get this extension done. Could Perkins have landed more money this offseason? Certainly. Would it have been with a team like Oklahoma City that's positioned to be a contender for the foreseeable future? Probably not. Plus, Perkins gets the security of a long-term extension with an uncertain labor forecast (and potential lockout) looming. It's a win for both sides.
It didn't take long to remedy that.
By the end of his first practice with Oklahoma City on Saturday, he was wearing new shoes with bright orange on them and talking about his desire to stay with the Thunder long term.
Perkins knows he's going to miss the brotherhood he formed during a run to the championship and then back to the NBA finals in Boston, but the Celtics are no longer at the top of his list when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.
"I hope I can be here. I want to be here," Perkins said of Oklahoma City. "I couldn't find a better situation for myself. I really want to be here and this is just a great organization, just learning every day, just being around, it's overwhelming.
"I do want to be here and hopefully we can work something out. They are the first option, the first team on my plate with free agency coming up or whatever it may be. I just know Oklahoma City will be my first option."
--FORSBERG: THIS CHEMISTRY EXPERIMENT NOT WORTH THE GAMBLE
Celtics coach Doc Rivers spent an entire summer telling us how Boston had never been defeated in a playoff series with its starting five intact. After Thursday's deadline shocker that sent starting center Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City, Rivers admitted we'll never know for sure what Boston's familiar five could have accomplished had they remained healthy this season.
But one thing is certain: As the dust settles following the trade deadline, the Boston Celtics are a weaker team than they were the day before because part of their nucleus has been pried away.
--MAY: CELTICS MORE TALENTED, VERSATILE AFTER THE DEAL
Examining the Celtics-Thunder trade on its merits, I think Danny Ainge has once again come out on top. Let's begin with the article of faith that the team that gets the best player usually makes out the best in the trade. Jeff Green is the best player among the four. I can't imagine any GM disputing that. Green is 24 years old. He was averaging 15.2 points a game, third on the Thunder behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
What's your take? Click HERE to vote in the Hot Button poll.
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