Kendrick Perkins joined ESPN SportsNation to answer a number of questions from Thunder fans. Perkins offered a number of answers that shed some light on his mindset, his attitude toward the lockout, and his optimism towards OKC's future.
I've excerpted a few of the more interesting questions, but be sure to follow the link to read the full transcript.
Question: How close do you think the Thunder are for winning the championship? What is needed that wasn't there last year?
Kendrick Perkins: I think we're really close to winning the championship. We just lacked a little experience this year. We're very close. We just have to stay home and keep on with the hard work. The sky is the limit. We have a big scorer in Kevin Durant. We have an all-star in Russell. As long as guys keep working and staying together, we'll be good.
Question: Perk, how closely have you been paying attention to this lockout stuff?
Perkins: It's my job, so I've been calling and asking about it every day. I'm excited to get back on the court. But right now we're still so far apart. It's my job and my livelihood, so I'm keeping a very close eye on it.
Question: ESPN has you ranked No. 95 among top nba players, where do you rank yourself?
Perkins: I rank myself a little higher than that. I have to be satisfied with that, knowing that I came off of injuries to get there. But I would rank myself a little higher.
Question: How did it feel playing the dramatic playoff series against the strong front-court of the Grizzlies?
Perkins: It was a struggle. You have big guys like Zach. It was good battling against those guys. It was fun and very interesting. We got through it, but it was a definite challenge.
Question: How are your knees feeling? Do you think you'll be able to lead the league in dunks again next year?
Perkins: I've been working hard this summer. They feel great. I'm definitely going to try to get back to my early stages before getting hurt. I'll be playing without my braces. I'm excited to get back out on the court.
Question: What is the thing you like the most about being a part of the Oklahoma City Thunder?
Perkins: I love the city. I love the young group of guys. I love the organization, how they carry themselves. It's a first class organization in everything they do. The guys work hard to give back and try to win for the city. It's amazing to me. It's a good feeling to have a young team that wants to win like those guys do.
Question: Will you be in Lexington next week working out with the other Thunder players?
Perkins: I'm doing my own workouts, but I'll be there. We are scheduled to be in Lexington as a team. Us players will be out there working out at the University of Kentucky.
Question: What's your focus of improvement this off-season?
Perkins: I just want to get better with being able to finish with either hand. I've been working my left a lot. Strengthening my legs. So I won't have to wear those big dumb knee braces.