Kendrick Perkins' grandfather Raymond Lewis passed away on November 11th. Perkins took a few games off to be with his family during that time. Today at The Oklahoman, Perkins opens up to Darnell Mayberry about his grandfather. It is a powerful interview and a reminder that Perkins is a good man who was raised by a good man under difficult circumstances. I encourage you to read the whole thing, but here are a few snippets.
Mayberry: What did your grandfather mean to you?
Perkins: That was my best friend. He was the best man at my wedding, so that should tell you a lot. My mom died when I was 5. My grandparents took me when I was up for adoption. He was around 49 so he was a young grandfather. He took me in and just raised me. Me and him were best friends all through the years. Everywhere he went I went. He's the one that first taught me how to cut grass, to fish; we had chickens and ducks and stuff, how to do all that stuff. He's the one who taught me how to be who I am today. He put up my first basketball goal, but he also was the one who kept me in church. Words can't really express what he meant to me. It's like when I lost him, I lost a piece of my soul. But at the end of the day, I know he's in a better place.
Mayberry: Where do you think you would be without him?
Perkins: I don't know. Well, I know I wouldn't have been with my family because I was up for adoption at the time. So they're the only people that stepped up to the plate. But I wouldn't be the guy that I am today as far as, not the on the court person but the off the court person.
Mayberry: When you missed the time from the team to be with your family, can you describe what those three or four days were like?
Perkins: It was actually peaceful, man. I got time to myself just to emotionally relax. It's times where you'll carry things like that onto the court. Like, you'll be going through so much and then you go on the court and then you go on the court and if something don't go right or if something don't go your way, then all of a sudden you're ready to explode. So it just took me time to get back and relax and get back to being the team player and the team guy and not worrying about anything else outside of this. I just was able to clear my head. I went down to see him. The time that I was away from the team, he actually passed away. So I got time to just sit down, go down and get things straight. I still haven't got over it. Every night damn near I still cry myself to sleep. The thing that I feel put me in a better place the most is I was tired of suffering. That's why I could take it better than, I guess, a healthy guy that just passed away, like sudden death. It was more so like he was really suffering. So it was, like, now I'm at a happy place that he's not suffering. Don't get it twisted, I miss him like crazy. I wish I could have him for however many years, to 100. But now I just got to be there. My grandma was real strong about the situation, too, because I guess she was tired of seeing him suffer, too. We've just been dealing with it.