Kevin Garnett, the Boston Celtics' heart and soul, made an appearance on WEEI in Boston to touch on a few subjects, one of which included how the team is doing since the departure of Kendrick Perkins. You can read the entire transcribed interview here:
Garnett Shrugs Off Celtics Record Since Dealing Kendrick Perkins | SportsRadioInterviews
I've excerpted his Perkins-specific comments below:
Has the team gotten used to playing without Kendrick Perkins?
"That’s the reality part of it. … As much as it does hurt, as much as you are emotionally attached, you’ve got to get over it. … From that standpoint, I think we’ve all been doing that."
On analyst Chris Broussard saying the team isn’t as tough without Perkins:
"Just because a person says he’s an expert doesn’t mean he’s an expert. He has an opinion. … People fail to realize that Perk was one of the parts of our team that made us really, really good, that made us tough. … With Perk, we had a style of play that works with us. … We’re a similar firm team, but what you’ve got to (under)stand is we’re playing without [Shaq] and we’re playing without [Jermaine O'Neal]."
A few comments.
- I hope to explore this idea more in the future, but if you look at the team tenor of the Thunder and compare it to the tenor of the Celtics, it is clear that the Kendrick Perkins trade has taken something from the Celtics (though we don't know if it is permanent or temporary) and the team ethos still seems to be looking for it.
- The words typically used by writers, and even KG here, that describe Perkins are: toughness, attitude, meanness, and other variants. I think these words describe in part what makes Perk, Perk. But there is something more there. There is something about his nature and the innate way he approaches the game that has a galvanizing effect on his teammates. It is almost as if KG gave up a part of his own tenacious approach to the game and implanted it in Perkins' soul. Now that part is playing for another team, the Thunder get to enjoy its benefits and the Celtics are wondering if it can be replaced. Ubuntu has taken on a very real but also new and unfamiliar feeling.
- This feeling of what it means to be a Celtic is not only evident in Perkins. We've also seen it displayed in the Thunder's personal one-man-nemesis, Tony Allen. Check it out: