Wojo had an article the other day about Perk's value off the court as well. We know that he came to a young team and became the veteran leader that helped the team put it all together and make the finals two seasons in a row. Perk is the mentor and mediator off the court too, it seems.
"I get phone calls at all hours of the night from different teammates," Perkins told Yahoo! Sports. "And I've got to tell them: OK, you didn't get yours tonight but…
"So OK, take Serge [Ibaka]. I'll tell him, "OK man, you got seven points tonight, then you need to go get eight blocks. Some nights it's not going to be your night, where you can touch the ball. It's like that on this team, especially when you've got scorers like Russ, K.D. and Kevin Martin leading the league in scoring."
Twenty-four hours before Perkins made an immense block on the Brooklyn Nets' Deron Williams in the final minute of the Thunder's 117-111 victory at Barclays Center, Perkins gave a knowing nod and shrugged. "The game ends, you go home, take an hour break and then I know it's mentoring time.
"Guys are gonna call."
And Perk is the right guy to talk to them about not making it about themselves or about their stats. He's one of the most unselfish players in the league. And he does all the dirty work on the court without worrying about his own stats. I love how Wojo describes him.
Perkins is one of the true tough guys in the NBA, one of the NBA's best defenders of the post and defenders of professionalism. He learned under Kevin Garnett in Boston, and will quote K.G. – will tell you stories of his unselfishness, his team building – for hours if you permit him. He'll tell these Thunder about the way Garnett sacrificed his scoring when united with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, about how he made sure everyone else fed themselves first.For sure, Perk is one of the few true tough guys in the league. He's a warrior and he's a winner. Every team should have a player like Perk but there are very few of them left in the league. You won't see it in the box score, but Perk is key to the fortunes of the Thunder and that's why he's been my favorite player since his rookie season. They just don't make them like him any more - on or off the court..
When Perkins partially tore his groin late last season, the prospect of sitting out the Thunder's playoff run never occurred to him. He did the most professional thing of all: He never disclosed the severity of the injury, never revealed the truth to spare himself the criticism that came about how sluggishly he moved, how limited he had become. Perkins is an original, one of the last of the true tough guys in the sport.