In late February of last year, the Thunder traded Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic to Boston for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson. Robinson is gone, but Perkins is a key piece for the Thunder during their playoff run. Saturday, before the Celtics' Game 7 against Miami, Perkins spoke of going through the trade, who he'd rather face in the finals and what it's like playing for a title.
What was it like for you to get traded away from Boston last year?
At the moment, it was difficult because you never know what you're getting into. Myself, I grew up around a whole group of guys and I was there for eight years. It was the only place I knew but once I got here, that went out the window. Everybody welcomed me with open arms and the team was excited about winning and I fit in right from the jump. It was just younger. You don't find many young teams that want to win and want to get better every day and just want to be the best so that's always a positive.
Who are you rooting for Saturday night?
I'm a little biased so I'm going with Boston a little bit, but it really don't matter. I hope they win because it'd be nice to see them in the finals but either way, I'm not really just sitting back with pom-poms or anything like that.
Would it be emotional to play them?
I think it'd just make me play a little angry. You just want to get back at them team that traded you but at the end of the day, we're just trying to win though.
Is it harder to face a team in the finals you aren't as familiar with?
Once you get to the finals, it's just about will and heart. You could do all the scouting that you want to do to try to get ready but at the end of the day, you work so hard to get here that it's just coming from within. You've just got to dig deep. Game 4 or 5, you'll see guys getting tired because of the season being long or whatever but it's just digging deep and seeing who wants it more.
You dreamed about playing Boston in the finals. How did it end?
I don't know, I woke up. Real talk, I woke up so I don't know. That's a hard question.
How much has this team matured since you arrived?
I think guys have learned. I just kind of sit back and just kind of play my role. Even last year, making it to the Western Conference Finals, I think guys knew what it'd take to get to where we needed to go. We've been helping the helper well, guys have been paying close attention to detail, to the little things, and we've just been doing it. You could tell these guys have got older, matured a lot throughout this last year and a half.