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OKC Thunder notebook: Rivers reflects on value of Perkins

by Anthony Slater Published: May 14, 2014

Rivers reflects on value of Perkins

Following the Clippers’ Game 3 loss, Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers returned to his office to stew in frustration and start preparing for a turnaround.

But awaiting him was a familiar face from the past and, also, a reminder of his current unenviable predicament.

“I walk in my office and (Kendrick Perkins’) wife and all the kids are in my office,” Rivers recalled. “We were sitting there talking, and it was nice...But he had a lot to do with (the Clippers loss the night before).”

Even four years later, Rivers still holds a ton of affection for Perkins from the six-plus years he coached him in Boston.

“I just love him,” Rivers said. “He’s a hard-working guy. His value to the team, you just can’t quantify in numbers. He does so many things on the floor, off the floor, just every team he’s on, it gives them a perception of toughness.”

Rivers then lamented the effect it had on his Celtics when they surprisingly traded him to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green at the 2011 trade deadline.

“I was amazed at the difference when we lost him,” Rivers said. “I don’t mean the next year, I mean the next week, because he was gone. All of a sudden it felt like we were under attack, no one was scared of us anymore. I thought a lot of that had to do with, we removed that guy from our locker room.”

Rivers went on to say he’d never seen a pregame locker room as distraught as when Perkins was traded.

“I don’t usually say this to my coaches,” Rivers remembered. “But before the game, I said if we can get within 30 tonight, I’d be happy.”

Boston lost to the Nuggets by 12 that night.


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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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