Celtics sell their soul in trade
The Boston Celtics soul, Kendrick Perkins, got sold out on the business end of basketball. The Celtics traded Perkins along with former Knick Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for F Jeff Green and C Nenad Krstic, yesterday. Perkins isn’t big on the stat sheet, but what he brought was heart, size, and determination to the Celtics. He grew up with the Celtics, 27th pick drafted in 2003 out of Clifton J. Ozen High School in Beaumont, Texas. Paul Pierce, KG, and Ray Allen have all grown tight with Perkins in the last couple years. Perkins was almost to tears when he got the bad biz news. Here is the some of the conversation.
“There was a lot of crying, lot of hugging going on,” Perkins said before his former team left to go play the Denver Nuggets. “And a lot of it was me.”
“I miss them,” Perkins said. “I ain’t gonna lie. I’m gonna miss the hell out of them. It’s going to be hard leaving them behind, leaving this team behind and the fans and this city. But this is a business, and being traded is part of that business.”
“He’s taking it pretty hard because he’s been here eight years. He was real emotional, crying. I feel bad for him. I told him he’s not alone. ‘We’re going together. It’s not like you’ll be by yourself.’ ” Nate Robinson added
“It’s not even about a teammate. It felt like you lost a family member today,” Kevin Garnett said after Boston’s 89-75 loss to Denver. “Tough day.”
Added Paul Pierce, “It was very emotional, especially for me being that I had a chance to see Perkins grow up from Day 1 fresh out of high school seeing him get to the level he got to on a championship team.
“I had a chance to talk to him at length this afternoon, but he was definitely hurt. The guys around this locker room are definitely hurt to see Perk go.”
Ray Allen also had a chance to talk with Perkins.
“I just said, ‘Sorry,’” Allen said. “There’s no words that can really describe the emotions that you feel. Perk is a tough guy, (but) he was very emotional. Like he couldn’t get the words out that he needed to get out.
“In my mind, he’ll always be a Celtic. He’s been here for eight years. I felt truly bad. That’s probably one of the toughest pills I’ve had to swallow of any player I’ve seen traded, because he was a part of what he was doing here. So we have to change that around and incorporate these new guys we got.”
“They (Perkins’ teammates) love him. Someone said before (Thursday night’s game at Denver) that it’s not personal and I said, ‘You’re wrong, it’s very personal.’ He’s a family member and you are going to miss a family member. Just because it’s business doesn’t mean it’s not emotional.” Celtics coach Doc River’s comment
Paul Pierce talked about trusting team president Danniy Ainge and coach Doc Rivers: “We trust in them. It is what it is. We can’t use any excuses, cry over spilled milk.”
As for whether the trade will help the Celts, there was uncertainty.
“We don’t know,” said Garnett. “That’s going to be the big question. Time is going to tell all that.”
Allen finished his conversation on a positive note.
Said Allen, “Jeff Green is young. He can play. He can help our bench production out. He’s got tremendous upside. And Krstic gives us length. I look forward to having both of them.”
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