Kendrick Perkins into a back-and-forth with fans on locking up Pau Gasol on a bum shoulder in the 2008 NBA Finals.
As easy as it is to make fun of Kendrick Perkins for being a glorified role player during his years as an OKC Thunder or even the ‘free ride’ he got to the NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers, make no mistake: Perkins was a decent player back in the late 2000s with the Boston Celtics.
Of course, Perkins was no star player as he was overshadowed by the ‘Big 4’ of Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce. However, as much as people want to give all the credit to Kevin Garnett for the Celtics’ stellar defense, Kendrick Perkins anchored Doc Rivers’ defense.
‘Big Perk’ was always there to finish off a blown layup from any Celtic, fight for offensive boards, and play help-side defense every which way he could.
What he lacked as an offensive player, he made up for on the defensive end of the floor. This was evident when he was matched up against one of the best big-men of the late 2000s in the NBA Finals.
Kendrick Perkins boasts about having locked down Pau Gasol in the 2008 NBA Finals.
With the 2021 NBA Finals in full swing, the Milwaukee Bucks are trying to claw their way back into the series. Down 2-1, Kendrick Perkins, lets everybody know that he doesn’t feel like Mike Budenholzer should let go of his short rotation of players. So, he took to Twitter and said Thanasis Antetokounmpo shouldn’t get any playing time.
This led to fans calling him out for putting up horrendous stats in the NBA Finals himself. Perkins however, proudly embraced his role player-type stint with the Celtics and reminded them that Pau Gasol was not as great as he is used to being due to his defense on the Spaniard.
Played with a dislocated shoulder throughout the entire Finals and still locked Pau Gasol up! I had Lakers fans ready to trade him after the 1st year
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) July 12, 2021
Technically, Kendrick Perkins did alter Gasol’s play in the Finals. Pau Gasol averaged 18.8 points on near 60% shooting from the field in the 2007-08 regular season. In the 6 games that the Finals featured, Gasol’s averages dipped to 14.4 points and 53% shooting from the field.
Kendrick Perkins was assigned Gasol in this series and he clearly did a great job. Perkins was also dealing with a shoulder injury that kept him out of Game 5 of the 2008 Finals. Looks like whatever Perk said on Twitter, more or less, checks out.