OKC Thunder: Kendrick Perkins motivated to improve on last season's performance

Perkins admits he was displeased with last season, so he's dedicated the offseason to improving his game and developing his skills.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: August 11, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma City Thunder's Kendrick Perkins, left, drives around Minnesota Timberwolves' Nikola Pekovic, of Montenegro, in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 29, 2013 in Minneapolis. Pekovic led the Timberwolves with 22 points and 15 rebounds in their 101-93 win. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) ORG XMIT: MNJM106
Oklahoma City Thunder's Kendrick Perkins, left, drives around Minnesota Timberwolves' Nikola Pekovic, of Montenegro, in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 29, 2013 in Minneapolis. Pekovic led the Timberwolves with 22 points and 15 rebounds in their 101-93 win. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) ORG XMIT: MNJM106

Perkins will be the first to say that he's starting with the man in the mirror.

He's heard his critics this offseason, and while he isn't making any vows to shut them up Perkins is using their criticism as fuel.

“One thing I learned, and I learned this from Kevin Garnett, is don't only read the good things about you,” Perkins said. “Read the negative things about you, too, and use it as motivation. I think that's when it comes to the point when you can be considered a real man, when you can look at both. Because most people will hide from criticism. I take it and I just kind of use it as motivation to get better … I'm ready to get back on the court.”

Perkins is confident in young players Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb stepping in and contributing more next season, saying they, like every one else, has gotten “a whole lot better.”

“I've been watching all the guys from top to bottom, man. Every guy has gotten better this summer,” Perkins said. “Every guy is working. Every guy is getting better. I'm watching guys improve.”

And while most of us focus our attention on whether the role players will be able to handle more responsibility, Perkins pointed to his leaders, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. He expects even more out of them.

“What people don't understand is this is this is KD's sixth year, Russ' fifth year,” Perkins said. “Now, they're veterans. They've got enough experience. And it's Thabo (Sefolosha's) contract year, and you know how guys perform on their contract year. So at the end of the day we feel like we got enough to get it done.”


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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