First up, Peter May catches up with Kendrick Perkins, who has come to grips with his move to Oklahoma City:
After the shootaround, his agent, Bob Myers, called and told him of the possibility of a deal. Perkins had no clue.
“I was pretty surprised,” Perkins told ESPNBoston via telephone. “I had no idea. I talked to Doc [Rivers] and he said he wasn’t pushing it, that he was trying to stop it.”
Rivers said he did stop it. That was Perkins Deal No. 1, according to the coach.
“At the time I talked to him, it was a different deal and I did put a stop to that one. But I also told him that something might still happen,” Rivers said.
Soon, Perkins Deal No. 2 came along and Rivers then had to say goodbye to a player he had, he said, come to regard as a son.
“It was the most difficult thing I have had to since I’ve been in the league,” Rivers said. “It was like sending one of your kids along the way. It can be very hard to separate the basketball from the personal and this one was definitely that for me. Perk had great spirit. He had the intangibles you look for. We all decided to make the trade, but, for me, it hurt. It hurt a lot.”
Perk has adoped a mature approach to the trade:
“Obviously, I am going to miss Boston a lot,” he said. “I talked to Danny [Ainge] on the phone the day the deal was done. It was hard for both of us. We go back a long way. But I understand that this is the business part of it. “I look back and I have to be pleased with everything they did for me, from bringing me there from high school. I am grateful for all the experiences, to be able to be a part of a championship team. It was all great. No complaints. I was blessed to be there for eight years.”
Perk and the Thunder took down the Heat last night, but not before Dwayne Wade threw down this jam:
Is Rajon Rondo hurt or not? We’ve been speculating on that topic around here for a few days now.
Chris Forsberg tries to read the tea leaves:
Here’s the CliffsNotes version: Kevin Garnett said Rondo is playing hurt; Coach Doc Rivers said it’s a slump and that KG is misinformed; Captain Paul Pierce said to go ask Rondo; Rondo didn’t address the media Wednesday. You dig?
“Rondo’s playing hurt,” said Garnett. “He’s giving us everything he has and he’s grinding. I think the nights where he’s playing countless minutes for us, and he’s not playing washed up guys. He’s playing [Indiana’s Darren Collison] and [New Jersey’s Deron Williams] and all these guys and they’re coming at him. He knows that, so he’s just a little focused in. But everybody’s banged up at this point and [Rondo] is no different from that.”
While the Celtics get their stories straight on Rondo’s injury or lack thereof, Paul Pierce gets to the heart of the matter on Rondo’s up and down play over the last couple of weeks:
“I thought he played a good floor game today,” said Pierce after last night’s win. “But I think he could be a little more aggressive offensively with shots and going to the hole.”
That’s exactly it. When Rondo doesn’t break down the defense off-the-dribble, his game becomes a pass or shoot proposition from the perimeter. He can be effective from that position, finding players cutting along the baseline but it removes what makes him a unique player on offense: his ability to shift the defense and take advantage of emerging angles to create good shots for his teammates.
Feel free to sit and wonder if it’s an injury that’s reduced Rondo’s aggressiveness towards the basket or a fear of being sent to the line for free throws. Either could be the culprit.
MIKE AND TOMMY
The Celtics celebrated the 30-year partnership of Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn last night at the Garden. Julian Benbow reports from the Boston Globe:
One of their keys is knowing not to take themselves or their jobs too seriously. It still strikes Gorman that for most Celtics fans, he’s been the only voice they’ve known, because to him that voice is Johnny Most.
But he and Heinson developed a chemistry from Day 1, when, as Gorman tells it, Gorman came with a library’s worth of notes and Heinsohn told him he wouldn’t be needing them.
Gorman had worked on a network level with two-hour production meetings, laundry lists of anecdotes and tidbits.
Planning, planning, planning.
“So often you’ll see, especially on a big network game,” Gorman said. “It’ll take them half the game to catch up with what’s really happening because they have these preloaded lists.”
That’s how Gorman learned it covering Big East basketball.
“He’s so smooth,” Heinsohn said. “And he’s GQ.”
Describing Heinsohn’s approach, he flips the night’s game notes across the table, “Tommy is like, Just sit down and go wherever the game takes you.”
- A man convicted in the stabbing of Pierce over a decade ago has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for stabbing a DEA informant.
- I’ve got a piece up over at True Hoop Network site HoopSpeak on the Larry Bird and Magic Johnson era.
- While you’re over there, check out Brendan’s piece on Bill Russell and Hayes’ piece on Connie Hawkins.