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Shaq: I Told Ainge Not To Do Perkins Trade

An interesting tidbit has come out this morning on perhaps the most controversial (and beaten into the ground) topic from this past NBA season: The Kendrick Perkins trade.

In a candid interview with John Reid of The Times Picayune, Shaq reflected on a number of topics including his retirement, his move to Turner over ESPN, and the future of the NBA. However, the biggest item of note was his answer to a question about his performance this past season. The question did not directly reference anything about the Perk trade, yet Shaq volunteered quite the eye-opening item in his response:

Was it tough seeing your skills diminish after dominating for most of your career?

At 39, I wasn’t mentally on the down slope. But I used to feel really terrible after scoring eight points. This ain’t me, the Diesel scoring eight points. My mind was on winning the whole thing, and we had a chance to get the second spot (in the Eastern Conference), and we ended up getting the fourth spot. I even told (Boston General Manager) Danny Ainge not to do the Perkins deal with Oklahoma City. I told them I might not be ready, and I’m definitely not coming back. Those guys did what they’ve got to do. I wasn’t surprised; I’ve seen it before. They say all that blah, blah, but you know it’s always going to be something different.

A few thoughts on the comments and the motives behind them, after the jump.

Needless to say, that’s some shots fired there. I wasn’t expecting Shaq to come out like this and throw Ainge under the bus. While reading this though, you have to take into account that it’s clear Diesel is trying to cover himself here for his for his inability to come back from the Achilles/calf ailments. You have to take these comments with at least a small grain of salt now that Shaq has ridden out into the sunset. He’s trying to protect his legacy here.

With that said, we now have both Shaq and Doc Rivers who have come out on record to say they believe the Perk trade shouldn’t have happened in-season. And while it’s all a moot point right now, and there were likely countless other factors (injuries, fatigue, Big Baby’s poor play, etc.) that figured into the team’s disappointing stretch run and playoff performance, this revelation should only further fan the flames surrounding the move.

And you know what? That’s a good thing. Danny Ainge deserves some fire here for what at the time seemed to be a foolishly risky move. And with Nenad Krstic gone to Russia now, the return for the team’s incumbent starting center is of a lanky underachieving hybrid unsigned forward. The reality Perk was going to be gone when the 2010-11 season ended shouldn’t have been a major factor if this team was going all-in on a championship in the here and now. And with Shaq admitting he warned Ainge about his ability to return during the season, that’s just yet another reason why this shouldn’t have happened.

  • cos

    I dont know what to make of shaqs comment, but he has said things in the past to cover his ass.

    Robb, I remember doc mentioning at the end of the season that he felt the trade was the right move to make but also stating that he didnt think it would affect the team as much as it did. If your interpretation is different than mine, can you provide a link to your doc stating the trade should not have happened in season.

    Not questioning on this, I'd just like to read the article. starving for celtics news all summer.

  • Deb

    I don't think it is appropriate to tell Ainge what he should do. I am, also, a starving Celtics fan. I kept records of wins and losses on the schedule sheet. Our losses began when injuries struck us. We were winning without Perk; yet when Garnett went out, then Delonte, Marquis Daniels, Rondo, etc. we had NO bench. I looked over one night at the bench and we had 3 men on the bench. Without any bench, we could not keep up the W's and it is not fair to judge Jeff Green and Company when they were brought in close to the Playoffs and expected to "bond with the team, etc. And when Perk went to Oklahoma he was injured and not playing for a while. If you look back at the 2008 team, the bench, and addition of Sam Cassell and P.J. Brown were a far better team–the bench was a great complement to the starters.

  • JayAllDay

    One observation from this article, and im sure many have asked this same question, but what is so great about Jeff Green. I understand the business aspect of the trade but was this the best possible option out there for Perk. Also if the Celts were built to win now, why would you trade your veteran starting center for a poor shooting, non rebounding, player with no position. OKC didnt want him for a reason. Not to beat a dead horse but i smh everytime this trade is brought up.

    • Tos

      I’ve heard the Celts were actually targetting Harden, but got Green instead because OkC didn’t want go give up Harden.

      And honestly, Harden wouldve made perfect sense on our team. He’s a young athletic sg/s. Who can hit the 3. And he’s only getting better… Nd then there’s Green. I like Green, but not on thus team. He just isn’t at all what we needed and moving forward I hope they are able to sign and trade both him and Big Baby.

  • James Patrick

    " I wasn’t expecting Shaq to come out like this and throw Ainge under the bus."

    Well, if the bus fits…

  • I_Love_Green

    Should've told him to not do the Semih trade…

  • Guest

    Jeff Green, big baby and a couple bench warmers we still have to Orlando for D12. Wishful thinking like every other Dwight Howard trade situation but there's gotta be some way it could work.

  • Guest

    Delonte was the best player off the bench in the playoffs.

    • Zee


  • kricky

    Makes me wish Shaq had gone somewhere else in the off season.

    I loved how he played at the beginning, but he gave us nothing but grief in the home stretch.

    We wouldn't have traded Perk or Semi and maybe better off right now.

  • W2.

    I would be much more interested in discussing what went down with Avery and Jermaine at the Impact Basketball in Vegas yesterday….but there is little info anywhere.

    • jeffery6803

      i would really like that info as well and some video of it would be nice much rather watch some actual play than constantly talk about the lockout and past trades that where stupid but we can`t change

    • I_Love_Green

      I've been getting my info from Sherrod Blakely's twitter. They hope to have online streams next week.

  • honny

    here is a article about the game but it`s pretty stupid as the guy doesn`t know how many years bradley has even been in the league

  • Gaib

    This article feels like it was written in some cheap motel room in Nebraska…I thought you were better than this BRobb

  • skeeds

    So what if Shaq's saying that to cover his ass? It shouldn't take Shaq's opinion to make it a silly move. Basing your hopes for a title on the achilles tendon of the oldest player in the NBA is a stupid, stupid move, even if Shaq insisted that he'd be brand new by the playoffs.

    I think that in that light, everything else made sence. Ainge gambled that he'd get a constant 10/10 game out of Shaq in the playoffs, and that might've been enough. Krstic would be 3rd in line for center, Baby wouldn't have to play out of his position all his minutes, JO could have the 15 productive minutes he could give, and Green wouldn't need to provide much, other than 2-3 layups and some rebounds, a la Marquis.
    But you rely on Shaq's return for all of that to work, and that's such an foolish gamble, and an unfair stance against Diesel.

    • jjhic

      Kind of true.

  • W2.

    FYI. Impact basketball has some highlights from Monday's games. Avery and JO make a showing. JJ Hickson looks to be a man among boys.

  • Batman

    Shaq throwing someone under the bus?!! Whoa!

    • janos

      Hi batman
      Did you have the good sumerstime?

      • Batman

        hey Janos I had a great summer thanks
        Sad about no basketball news but still good
        How about you?


    We all knew the trade was a bad move. Shaq making these comments aren't new or considered throwing people under the bus. I do believe the Perkins trade was over blown by some in the media. But it's a fact the trade hurt the C's chemistry along with injuries, fatigue and 4th quarter inconsistency.

  • Guest

    The C's were not beating Miami with Perk, and they were not beating them without a healthy Shaq and a decent backup for Pierce. They simply lost to a better team. Perk would not have made a difference in that series.

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