"What people don't understand from the outside looking in is it's much more than basketball here. We build family relationships. And to have somebody from your family just pulled out and go to another team, that's tough."
Processing the impact of the deal and how it might benefit the team going forward initially was tough for the players. First, they had to overcome the sting of the news.
"None of us knew so we were definitely surprised," said Russell Westbrook. "All I can say is we'll see what happens. Hopefully it's for the better."
Whether it was Durant or Westbrook or Thunder coach Scott Brooks doing the talking, one word was consistently tossed out in describing what Perkins will bring " toughness.
"Just from watching Perk play these four years I've been in the league, he's been a tough-nosed guy," Durant said. "He should add another dimension to our team."
Said Brooks: "He's not going to take anything from players on the court."
Perkins is out for at least a week with a left knee sprain. And when he returns, the challenge will be to get him, Robinson and Nazr Mohammed, who was acquired in a separate deal that sent White and Mo Peterson to Charlotte, acclimated. How long that might take was anyone's guess Friday.
"We don't have too much time," Westbrook said. "We got 26 games left. We got to get everybody on the same page and make sure guys coming in are on the same page we were already on."
This much we do know. The departed will be missed.
"Not seeing them every day is going to be tough for me," Durant said. "But I've got to move on. I'm happy with the new additions we have. I think we're going to move forward."
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