Kendrick Perkins has an attitude problem. He knows it, and he'll never change. It's why he is who he is.Right from his rookie year when I fell in love with Perk as a player on the Celtics, he has had that attitude. It stems from the fact that he gives the game his all. Even in that rookie year when he played just 19 minutes the whole season, he worked harder than pretty much anyone else on the team. He remade his body from a pudgy high school player into a tough NBA ready body in that season.
Behind that scowl is a shockingly smart basketball player. The Thunder center is about to start his 10th season, yet is still 27 years old. This truly makes him wise beyond his years.
He never gives less than 100% and most times more, and he expects the same from his teammates. But yet, he's always willing to get better and grow as a player himself. I remember back to one season early in his career, he was still playing sparingly but that didn't stop him from calling out one of the team's leaders. Paul Pierce was coasting in a game and clearly not giving it his all. Perk got in his face in a time out and told him he needed to play harder. Pierce listened and the Celtics pulled out the game.
Cole Aldrich spoke about his former teammate. Cole was traded with James Harden to Houston but he had played the past couple of years with Perk. When asked what made Perk so good in the post, he had this to say:
“His knowledge. He's played with a lot of good guys. He's been in the league 10 years and he's learned. He just knows the position and that's what makes him so good. You watch film of him and he really knows what he's doing. Then again, it could be 100-percent attitude, you never know.”And Coach Scott Brooks said this about his big man:
“It's all about attitude and toughness,” Brooks said. “If you don't have that in this league, you're going to get pushed around. You're not going to be able to perform and be able to stop players in this league. They're so skilled and talented, especially down low.”Perk takes his role seriously. His role is to be the defender of the hoop. To anchor the defense and to stop easy baskets. He may appear on a lot of posters because he will never back down. When a guy comes flying in for a dunk, Perk is right there trying to stop it. Sometimes he can and sometimes he can't, but he will never, ever back down. A player who is willing to accept a role where he won't get much glory for it is indeed rare. But Perk accepts the role and he relishes it. He brings that attitude to the team. Never give up. Never back down.
I get really upset when I see people saying they should amnesty Perk because he doesn't score a lot of points. Unless you watch him in a game you may miss entirely all that he does to help the team win. Go back and watch how soft, as a team, the Thunder were before Perk got here. He brings toughness and he brings attitude, not just for himself, but to the entire team. I love the way this article ends.
Detractors claim OKC should simply exercise the amnesty clause available on Perkins, which would free up $17.6 million the next two seasons to re-sign Harden. What these folk fail to realize is the Thunder would then have a gaping hole in the middle and be in need of an attitude re-adjustment.Very true.