clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Kendrick Perkins didn't get a chance to teach the Pelicans about proverbial next step

New, comments

Following such a dismal season, it's difficult to capture the influence Perk had on the New Orleans roster.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

So, Kendrick Perkins. Do you have extremely strong feelings about the guy, one way or the other?

He had some fun quotes, like the time he told Yahoo!, "At the end of the day, this is not what I signed up for."

But he never should have played so much, so often, as the Pelicans third center on the depth chart. Granddaddy Perk averaged 14.6 minutes in 37 games played. His statistics failed to jump off the page: 2.5 points off 53 percent shooting, 3.5 rebounds and a team low 6 PER (excluding Orlando Johnson, Jimmer Fredette and Nate Robinson who all played less than six games this season).

So, what is there to say about Papa Perk? He was supposed to be a veteran presence in the locker room, and a mentor for Anthony Davis. AD echoed this sentiment during an interview with Adrian Wojnarowski back in February.

"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 GarnettPaul 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."

Despite the vote of confidence, it's unclear how much effect he had on the young-guns. For a team that desperately needed on-the-court production, the importance of his mentoring skills might have taken a back seat.

Instead of teaching Davis, Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday on how to get over the hump and take the proverbial next step following last year's playoff appearance, the focus was consistently on turning the ship around. Do words become hollow after losses continue to mount?

Or, how about the need to protect the paint with questionable physical play when the team sits 18 games under .500? Notice Tim Frazier's immediate reaction after Damian Lillard was clotheslined by Perk and Alvin Gentry later checking to see if Portland's star player was fine following the altercation.

Hey, at least entertainment value was never in question when Perkins stepped out onto the floor. Next to JaVale McGee, has there ever been a more prominent fixture on Shaqtin' A Fool?

If you've never seen this video, WOW you should, like right now! (All of his moments in a Pelicans uniform come towards the end.) I had no idea Perk had so many appearances on this not-so-fun TNT segment.

Well, cheers Kendrick, it was a truly a special season with you. On a final note, here's Alvin Gentry talking about Kendrick Perkins' leadership and sadly joke about starting his 40th different lineup of the season!

Is it plausible Papa Perk returns next season, perhaps in some coaching capacity?