NBA G League alum Kendrick Perkins will make his fourth career trip to the NBA Finals in 2018.
Kendrick Perkins played in the G League? Is that the same big man who won big with the Celtics back in 2008? When did he get back into the NBA?
If you’re asking yourself these questions, allow us to catch you up.
Alas, Perkins has seen more action going head-to-head with Drake (yes, the rapper) in this postseason than he’s gotten on an NBA hardwood. After finishing up the 2015-16 season with the New Orleans Pelicans, Perkins went almost two full years without playing in an NBA game. He attended training camp with Cleveland this past fall and though he was cut, still made his way back to The Association and appeared in a late-season contest against the Knicks, tallying 3 points, 2 assists, and 1 steal on April 11th.
Relationships and reputation go a long way. The bruising big man caught on with the Cavaliers just prior to their run in The Finals during the 2014-15 season. It was during this time where he gained the trust and respect of LeBron James. Fast-forward ten years since his sole NBA championship victory, Perkins is back with the Cavaliers, additionally alongside former Celtics teammate Jeff Green and assistant coach Mike Longabardi. Head coach Ty Lue’s mentor Doc Rivers coached Perkins in Boston as well, so it’s safe to say he had quite a few advocates singing his praises if the team needed any convincing that he could value (as much off the court, perhaps even more so than on it) during a rather trying postseason run. He can provide his teammates with guidance, wisdom, and support. A rather physical specimen, he can push them and keep those around him primed during practice. As far as opponents are concerned, he’s clearly not someone you want to mess with, whether he’s fitted in a suit or gym shorts.
One last thing: Perkins is indeed an NBA G League alum. After getting cut in camp, the 33 year old demonstrated humility and joined the affiliated Canton Charge. Arguably proving his worth even more, the big man mentored the minor league squad’s slew of developing prospects. All the while, he appeared in 27 games, averaging a respectable 8.7 points and 7.2 rebounds.
All of this has led to Perkins earning a shot at another NBA title a decade after winning his first one. He may not see a moment of court action, but this is still a feel good story, especially when considering the G League’s part in keeping him ready along the way.