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Collected wisdom: Thunder center Kendrick Perkins

The Thunder center talks about growing up in Beaumont, Texas, and his own children.
by Jenni Carlson Published: April 28, 2012

He played the biggest part in my life as far as basketball. He's probably the reason I have the scowl on my face. He said, “Every time you step on the court, it's always business.”

I've been happy to play for great organizations. I leave one great organization and come play for another great one. Most guys don't get that in their career. It's just a blessing.

My kids. My littlest one ... he's only 6 months, but my oldest one's 4. I'm trying not to really get caught up in name-brand tennis shoes and everything. Sometimes, it'll be hard because you want to get the best for your child, but at the same time, it's a fine line. You want them to realize and appreciate every little thing.

Everybody at my son's school, if everybody gets $2 for lunch, he's gonna get $2 for lunch. I'm not going to give him $5 or $10. No, you're gonna get $2 for lunch. Maybe give you 50 cents extra.

If I could say there's anything that would trigger me off in going to the deep end ... it's your children. It's just to the point where you don't want anybody ever messing with your kids. You turn on CNN, and you see kids come up missing, and you don't ever want that.

I know God says you're not supposed to cherish nothing more than him, but at the same time, it's hard (when you have children).

I try to be the same person with everybody. I try to give everybody the same respect that I want them to give me. The biggest thing with me is I try to stay humble. I try to be the same person I was in high school or whenever.

We catch ourselves complaining about a lot, but if we sit back and really think about it, we fly on private jets, we play in top-notch arenas, we get paid a lot of money, we go on the road and we live in the finest hotels. It's like we get treated with so much royalty. We take a lot of things for granted.

I wouldn't change nothing, to be honest. I wouldn't change nothing.

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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