Video: Was Kendrick Perkins the Missing Piece for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016
Kendrick Perkins has never been shy about giving his opinion. Not only does it make him an excellent hire for ESPN, but it also made him one of the most powerful forces inside the Oklahoma City Thunder locker room.
Perkins says during the 2015-2016 season, the Thunder and Cavilers tried to trade for him. Unfortunately for Perkins Pelicans General Manager, Dale Demps didn't pull the trigger, and he was stuck on a New Orleans team that went 30-52 while the Thunder were just one win away from going back to the NBA Finals.
Perkins believes that were he in Oklahoma City that season the Thunder would not have lost to Golden State. "If I were on Oklahoma City, we wouldn't have blown that 3-1 lead."
"There's no way in hell we would have blown that. I'm not saying because of me playing; I am saying just my locker room presence." Those comments come from a recent interview in The Athletic.
Sam Presti always seemed to value Perkins's championship pedigree from his time with the Celtics. He probably saw him as not only a liaison between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook but also between new head coach Billy Donovan and the rest of the Thunder roster. Perkins wouldn't have kept Klay Thompson from scoring 41 in game six, but sometimes a confident voice can settle a team down when things start to go awry.
It's also fair to say the Warriors were a better team than the Thunder and because they had Championship experience, that 3-1 lead didn't phase them the way it may others in their position. Whatever the case until the Thunder finally wins an O'Brien trophy, fans, players, and front office types will always have an opinion on what went wrong.