Thursday, February 24, 2011
In Memoriam: Kendrick Perkins
Let me preface this: I’m a Celtics fan, I bleed green. I grew up in New England, and I’ve loved Boston sport’s teams my entire life. When the Giants beat the Patriots on a miracle catch four years ago, I was distraught for weeks. As the C’s lost the 2010 finals and I watched purple and gold confetti rain from the Staples Center I nearly strangled my dog…just because her fur is golden. I harbor a hatred so intense for Rex Ryan that I proposed an idea in which the Pats bring back Randy Moss simply so he can Knut tap Ryan on the sideline—Kevin Garnett style.
So as you can imagine, throwing objectivity out the window, Boston’s trade of Kendrick Perkin’s was upsetting. I still haven’t gotten’ over it, not even close. Right now, there is a 45% chance I’m throwing darts at a 24’ by 11’ poster of Danny Ainge. Perhaps Boston’s most beloved player, Perk represented the hard working, blue collar mindset resplendent in the far north. I think we all could see a little of Perk in ourselves, that hardworking, unassuming soul devoted to his craft.
Next to Kevin Garnett, he was the Celtic’s enforcer. Tough as hell, mean as hell, and happily content setting bone shaking picks for his teammates. No one, maybe in the entire league, was better at setting screens than Kendrick Perkins.
As a Celtics fan, how could you not love Perk? When he suffered a devastating knee injury in the 2010 Finals, he devoted every ounce of his being to rehabilitation and returned well ahead of schedule. He spent hours after practice while recovering from the surgery just shooting free throws, because that’s all he could physically accomplish. How can you not admire that mindset?
Perk was beloved for his role as enforcer. Did he ever once smile during a game? No, never. Was he always there to defend a teammate, help him up off the floor? Absolutely. There is something loveable about a player who makes the most of his limited athleticism and contributes to a championship team. Kendrick Perkins was the epitome of that mold of basketball player. He didn’t care about scoring, hell; he was content to not take a shot all game as long as he was able to contribute in other ways.
Perkins could be frustrating—no doubt. Offensively, he has always been a liability, and at 26, he will continue to be for the rest of his career. He never mastered the skill of catching and rising to score, he’s always needed to gather himself and jump, making his shot easier to block. But it doesn’t matter, who else in basketball was capable of guarding Dwight Howard one-on-one? NO ONE. Who set screens like Kendrick Perkins? NO ONE. Who else was as intense and focused as Perk on the floor? NO ONE.
Kendrick Perkins, you will be missed.
Expect some actual analysis tomorrow, I need a solid 24 hours to digest this news. To hold you over: http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2011/02/24/boston-okc-pull-last-minute-trade-stunner/#comment
Posted by Richard Owens at 7:24 PM