They Will Be Missed
Celtics reflect on losing Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson.
by Sulaiman Folarin / @sulaiman4real
Denver, CO — As the trade deadline closed on Thursday, the Boston Celtics were involved in some last minute dealing as they traded Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic and a future first-round draft pick.
Three members of the Celtics’ Big Four and their coach were sad to see their two guys leave town.
Throughout this season, basketball fans were complaining about LeBron James taking his talents to South Beach and Carmelo Anthony insisting on returning home. But here were two Boston Celtics players who wanted no part of the trade deadline.
“It is a blow when you lose a guy like Perk,” Pierce said. “He has been in Playoff battles and tested. He gives us size especially when you’re going up against guys like Dwight Howard.”
That size has been sent over to Oklahoma to team up with Kevin Durant; something the Thunder could use when matching up against the top teams in the Western Conference like the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers.
“This is a kid I watched come out of high school and grow with us,” Pierce said about losing Perkins.
“Important part of our rotation is gone. We counted a lot heavy on those guys and when they go you feel the residual effects,” Allen said.
Perkins, who tore ligaments in his knee during the 2010 NBA Finals had only played 12 games this season and had spent the offseason recovering from surgery as well.
“My entire time in Boston, I’ve been with Perk and he’s been with me, personally that’s tough,” Rivers said.
Trades are difficult to handle whether players want on, or, as in this case, they did not anticipate it coming. Even with the injuries, the Celtics would have preferred him stay in Boston.
“It’s a tough day to play basketball. To even concentrate, just being blunt and honest,” Garnett said. “Its not even about a teammate its like you lost a family member today.”
Celtics coach Rivers had said for a while that he would prefer to have his starting five that had never been beaten in a Playoff series before; now we will never find out with Perkins shipped to the West.
“We won’t have [the] team [that] never lost so we can just end that, but we have to win with this team we have,” Rivers said.
“It’s a key proponent of this. We need to get Shaq healthy,” Rivers said. “Shaq will be healthy, but if he plays great this deal would obviously be great for us.”
In Boston’s loss was Oklahoma City’s gain. The offense goes through Durant and Russell Westbrook, and now they have a defensive presence they need to battle in the West.
For a player who finishes the season as a top-10 contributor in block percentages, he plays a huge role on defense for the Celtics and should take that same intensity to Oklahoma City.
“It’s hard to lose anybody, but Perk is a guy we’ve had with us for years; we’ve won a championship together and in my mind he will always be a Celtic,” Allen added.