“Hurt, surprised, I think it really still hasn’t hit me yet — not really,” he said later. “I think everything happened so fast, last year coming back from my ACL injury and getting traded to Oklahoma City where I had to be a leader. “It still hurts that I got traded, but then the city of Oklahoma has been great to me. They’ve embraced me with open arms, and I have no complaints about the city of Oklahoma and the whole organization.”
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kendrick Perkins reminds me of John Starks.
There are differences: Perkins is a center, Starks was a guard; Perkins is a defensive anchor, while Starks played both ends of the floor; Perkins won a championship with the Boston Celtics and Starks’ New York Knicks fell short in the NBA Finals.
However, Perkins and Starks are both fiery and have massive hearts.
Consider that the veteran-laden Celtics fell apart after Perkins was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder last February. Part of this had to with the hole Perkins left down-low, but this was more about the hole he left in the locker room.
Rajon Rondo missed Perkins, his best friend. Kevin Garnett cried when told of the trade. And the green-and-white never recovered.
Yesterday Perkins received a massive ovation while at an exhibition game near Boston.
Starks, a real life Rocky, had a similar impact in New York. He played at several colleges, semi-pro leagues, and bagged groceries before sticking with the Knicks.
Fans could relate to Starks` blue-collar work ethic. Eventually, he became an All-Star and a key part of some rugged Knick teams.
He was immortalized with his dunk on THE GOAT and when the Beastie Boys declared 'I got heart like John Starks'.
The lockout has shown what’s wrong with the NBA. The league needs more players like Perkins and Starks.
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