Most everyone said it when the Thunder acquired Kendrick Perkins. He’s going to bring something different to town. He’s tough, he’s big, he’s physical and he’s not shy about speaking his mind. If Chris Bosh is a fake tough guy, Perkins is every bit of real tough guy as you can get. And in a locker room that’s mostly tight-lipped with every cliche down pat and ready to use in any situation, Perkins has a candidness that we haven’t really ever seen here.
In the newest issue of ESPN the Mag , Perkins and Kevin Durant were both asked a couple of the same questions with both having mostly differing opinions. All of it was pretty interesting, but the question, “Lakers: Team to beat or old news?” brought out the best in Perk.
“Yesterday’s news,” he said. “I don’t like Pau Gasol or Phil Jackson. Phil is arrogant. Pau is soft. Kobe tries to bring out his toughness, but he’s still soft.”
Durant’s answer? “They’re the reigning champs and still playing like it.” See the difference there? Like I said, Perk might take a little getting used to in OKC. I actually wondered to myself if these quotes were even real or if I was missing the point of some kind of fictional, made up quote piece.
Most felt when OKC got Perkins though that he was going to bring more than just defense and rebounding to the young Thunder. He was going to add toughness. Grit. And a new attitude. One of his biggest assets is the way he defends and muscles against a team like the Lakers and obviously, he's not intimidated by the defending champs a bit.
I'm sure a lot of those feelings come from the fact Perkins was formerly of the Celtics who, you know, don't like the Lakers a whole lot. Perkins has had his fill of Gasol and Jackson the past couple years, meeting the Lakers in the Finals twice in the past three seasons.
The Thunder's still waiting on Perkins' first appearance which could come as early as tonight versus the Wizards. There's some thought he might play a little before really settling into his starter's role Wednesday against the Heat. Either way, we'll be seeing Perkins in a Thunder jersey by the end of the week and it won't just be about the attitude he's bringing, but about what he adds on the floor too.