EDMOND — Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins hosted a celebrity golf tournament at the Oak Tree National on Wednesday to raise money for tornado victims in central Oklahoma. Tuesday night, there was a charity dinner and auction.
Perkins has been on a mission to give back to the community. He participated in the Thunder's youth basketball camp June 19. He and his wife also accepted donations along with a local business on May 21 to help the tornado relief effort.
Before getting on the course Wednesday, Perkins stepped aside to answer a few questions about the NBA Draft, Kevin Martin, former teammates and an assistant coach moving on to different teams.
Q: Can you just tell us what you've got going on this whole Fourth of July week?
A: “Well we got the golf tournament today. I'm a little nervous, because it's my first time playing, but I've been out there practicing. You know, you can't learn it over night, but I'm (going to) try my best, so I need all the luck I can get.”
How important was it for you to find a couple different ways to give back to the community?
“We find ways to give back things that people love and enjoy doing. I just feel like it's a blessing just to turn out and, you know, to support that everyone come out here to support us and support a great cause that, you know, we helping people in need and helping our fellow Oklahomans.”
We know you're not spending your offseason on your golf game, so what've you been up to?
“I've been working out. Just working out, doing a lot of family time, you know stuff like that. But that's about it; you know just trying to stay busy with the kids, the wife and just to the gym.”
You have you been since the season ended?
“I been here. I been here all of the summer really. ... I leave for the weekends, but I been here most of the summer.”
What are your thoughts about the guys that the Thunder drafted?
“I love them. I think they got great potential. You can just see the upside in them. We gonna develop 'em, and they're going to come to our program, and they know it's one way how we do it, and that's just work hard, put our hard hats on, and sooner or later, they gone get the picture and learn. We just see everybody improving, you know, I was watching a play yesterday from Jeremy Lamb. He's improved a ton. I mean he's shooting the 3-ball like no other, so I'm planning on trying to go on down to Summer League for a day or two to watch them play. But I'm excited. The youth that we got in, you know, even the young guys that we got now better, so I'm waiting to just lead them and go forward.”
A couple of your former teammates got traded from Boston to New Jersey, what was your reaction to that?
“I mean, at the end of their career, they got some good look. You know, you keep playing on a contender. As far as with (Kevin Garnett) and Paul (Pierce) I wish the best for them, you know, I got a lot of love for them, so you know I'm glad they was able, at this stage of their career, to get into another great situation to try a win the championship. As far as with Doc (Rivers,) it's kind of scary going against him in the West now, but he need to be prepared. ... We got love, but when we play each other there's no love.”
It going to be weird not to see those guys not in Boston green?
“Yeah, it's going to be weird, ... you know, I'm just excited to see how they gone play. You know, you got a nice starting five over there in New Jersey with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez. I mean, you look at it on paper, it's just, if they gone gel together?”
What about K-Mart?
“(Kevin “K-Mart” Martin,) well, we gone miss him. I thought K-Mart was a great teammate. I always say it is a business, and at the end of the day, you do have to do things to make sure that at the end of the day, you know as far financially, your family is straight and everything. So it was a blessing to have him, he was a great guy while he was here, and we just wished the best for him.”