Kendrick Perkins has appeared in a grand total of 89 minutes this season, spanning a mere 10 games for the New Orleans Pelicans. His last appearance was right after the New Year, January 2nd, when the Pelicans faced the Mavericks in Dallas.
However, the smallest of roles, in terms of playing time, has not prevented him from exerting the biggest influence on Anthony Davis. On Friday, Davis proudly stated to Adrian Wojnarowski that Perk has been a godsend in helping him deal with all the turmoil associated with a disappointing season.
"It's been one person throughout this whole season. Kendrick Perkins has definitely been helping me with all of this. He's been with LeBron, he's been with KD and Russ, he's been with...Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rondo. He's been with all these guys."
"He's been telling me, 'I remember when this happened 10 years ago, and this is how they handled it. This is what happened. As a franchise player or a leader of this team, you have to do this, you have to do that.'"
"I'm so happy to have him on my side because he's been through a lot of stuff that I'm seeing right now, or he's seen back then and is now seeing it again. It's easier to go through it when somebody, who is right there, to help you."
No, Perkins won't lead by example most nights on the court, but his contributions in practice, from the sidelines and everything in between will suffice. And don't fear, just because he won't play extended minutes, his new teammates will heed his advice. Having won a ring and played alongside Kevin Garnett in Boston, been the enforcer that Kevin Durant needed in Okahoma City and spent last year alongside LeBron James, the roster will intently be listening to all of his first hand recollections.
The only thing all proponents of the Perkins' signing missed was the type of advice that would be doled out to Davis and the rest of his teammates. With the expectation of another impending playoff run, many assumed Perkins sage advice would include topics like getting over the hump, depicting the intensity necessary for playoff basketball, and in general, teaching one of the remaining elements lacking from the makeup of the last year's team, toughness.
As everyone knows, that reality will probably not come to fruition, at least not this season; however, Perkins has been able to fill an alternate purpose and perhaps one even more important -- guiding the team through the adversity of failure to meet expectations.
If Anthony Davis thinks Perkins has been invaluable and is worth vouching for in front of Woj, who are we to argue?