Every trade is much deeper than just swapping a player for a player. Much more is involved and we are often reminded about how The NBA is a business and sometimes you have to trade a fan favorite in order to make the team better.
Kendrick Perkins had been with the team for eight years since being drafted out of high school and calls have been pouring into Boston area talk radio voicing the collective displeasure with the deal.
Said Nate Robinson: “He’s taking it pretty hard because he’s been here eight years, he was very emotional, crying. He has to move his family, and he’s been really tight with Rondo and other guys on the team. I feel his pain. It was tough when I left New York because of all the guys I’d been around.
“With Perk, everyone thinks he’s mean because of how he looks, but he’s a soft giant with a big heart, I told him he’s not alone. We’re going together. I told him you won’t be by yourself. You’ll have me by your side. We’ll make it work together.”
Said Kevin Garnett: “It’s not even about a teammate, you feel like you lost a family member today. Tough day.”
Said Paul Pierce: “It was very emotional, especially for me being that I had a chance to see Perkins grow up from Day 1 fresh out of high school seeing him get to the level he got to on a championship team. I had a chance to talk to him at length this afternoon, but he was definitely hurt. The guys around this locker room are definitely hurt to see Perk go.”
Said Ray Allen: “I just said, ‘Sorry,’ there’s no words that can really describe the emotions that you feel. Perk is a tough guy, he was very emotional. Like he couldn’t get the words out that he needed to get out. In my mind, he’ll always be a Celtic. He’s been here for eight years. I felt truly bad. That’s probably one of the toughest pills I’ve had to swallow of any player I’ve seen traded, because he was a part of what he was doing here. So we have to change that around and incorporate these new guys we got.”
Said Celtics president Danny Ainge: “I’m as close to Perk as any of them, I have a great relationship with him. I brought him in as an 18-year-old. It was very difficult. We shed some tears today, talking to Perk. It was tough. He’s a good kid. I think he’s going to a great situation for himself and for his future. I think Oklahoma City is a top-notch franchise and they obviously have some great young players. He has a bright future there, so that does make it a little bit easier.”
Said Celtics owner Steve Pagliuca: “I have mixed emotions, I loved Kendrick Perkins as a person and a player, and he helped us get a championship. So, that’s the tough part of the sports business. You’ve got to try to make the club better if you have opportunities. Danny’s done a great job at that over the last eight years, since we’ve been here. He assessed that this was something that would be great for the short run to help us win a championship again, and the longer run.”
Said HardwoodHoudini Lead Blogger Brian Cloney: “The move makes sense and I think Danny Ainge made the move that makes the club better both today and going forward. The Celtics are a better club today than they were yesterday and that should make them even more dangerous.”