Kendrick Perkins was faced with the brutal reality that he would not be playing in the most important game of his career last June when he tore two ligaments in his right knee during game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals. The Los Angeles Lakers held on in game 7 of the NBA Finals winning the contest, 83-79, behind the efforts of Pau Gasol, Ron Artest and Finals MVP Kobe Bryant. I can’t help but think that if Kendrick Perkins was playing in that Game 7 that the Lakers wouldn’t of had much of a shot down in the low post with the way Perkins was playing during the NBA Finals fueling the Boston Celtics defensively. You cannot play the woulda/coulda/shoulda game, but many NBA fans are aware of how much of an important piece Perkins is for this aging Celtics team to return back to the NBA Finals and take back a title they believe was theirs last year. Even without Perkins so far in the campaign, the Celtics are are 29-9 which is the best record in the Eastern Conference. Once the 6’10”, 280 pound, center returns back from injury, Boston will be an even bigger force to reckon with in the East.
It’ll be some matchup if it comes down to the veteran leadership in Boston taking on the “Big 3″ in Miami for the Eastern Conference Finals and the right to the NBA Finals. Kendrick Perkins looks to be a part of that again. Kendrick Perkins joined 98.5 the Sports Hub in Boston with Toucher and Rich to discuss how he feels since the MCL/PCL injury in the 2010 NBA Finals, when is he going to be back from injury and getting playing time, has he learned any good advice with Shaq being on the team, what impression he’s gotten from the Boston Celtics regarding his future with the team and what he knows about Stephen A. Smith saying “It’s part of the plan that Rasheed Wallace is going to come back to this team”.How do you feel since the injury in game 6 of the NBA Finals where you tore the MCL and PCL ligaments in your right knee?“I feel good man. I’ve been working hard. Obviously it’s been a tough time sitting on the sideline these last few months, but I feel good.
I start practicing Saturday, so I’m looking forward to returning in a few weeks and getting back out there on the court with the guys”When are you going to be back and getting playing time?
“Well they said like towards the end of January right at the end , so any game around that time. It really depends on how I feel, so I just think they want to get me a couple of practice days in before I go back on the court. I’m looking at about two weeks maybe three.”Have you learned any good advice from a veteran like Shaq on the team?“Yeah he has. You know Shaq he always tell me to never stop working. The one thing I learned from Shaq is just hard work. No matter how much success you have just continue to work. You always do it for the love of the game, so I’m always trying to sit back and pick his brain and pick Kevin’s [Garnett] brain. I’m still a young guy in this league. I’m always trying to figure out new things to try get better and better myself as an NBA player.”
With your contract expiring at the end of the season what impression have you gotten from the Boston Celtics regarding your future with the team?
“Well you know I definitely feel wanted. I definitely do feel wanted. I do want to be here you know I’ve been blessed to be with the Boston Celtics for 8 years. It’s a great franchise, a great ownership, to be part of the Celtics family. You know I get a great impression they do want me around. I do want to be around. I know with the NBA obviously we’re going throughout a lockout or whatever it is this year supposedly, but you know I think we’ll figure something out at the end of the year. Just go from there. I figure we win the championship. I feel like my chances will be high being here the next few years.”Stephen A. Smith came out the other day and said “It’s part of the plan that Rasheed Wallace is going to come back to this team.” What do you know about this Rasheed Wallace plan?“Well to be honest I think Stephen A. Smith just wants a little attention because I haven’t heard anything about that. I talked to Rasheed and not once has he mentioned about coming back. I think Rasheed is more of a family man now. He’s doing a lot of things with his son, his wife, his little girl and the children that he has. I asked him about it and he never mentioned it to me or any other guy, so it was kind of a surprise to us too.”