Saturday Notebook: Perkins vs. O’Neal, The Big Three are good and they know it
Posted by Brendan Jackson on Nov 13, 2010
What a glorious Saturday morning. If you’re inside reading Celtics Hub and you reside in the greater Boston area you are crazy. Go outside and enjoy the weather while it lasts….still here? Okay, here are some Celtics-related news bits to prevent you from getting the necessary amount of Vitamin D.
Let’s kick off today with a little helping of affirmation. Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe catches up with the Big Three to talk about how awesome they are. For Celtics fans, this is better than the Magazines they keep behind the counter. Although strictly from a “Karma” standpoint, I think Benbow goes a little too far. Here’s Benbow trying his best to put this kiss of death on Ray Allen:
Allen has pretty much avoided injuries since coming to Boston. “When you talk about Kevin’s injury in ’09 and my injuries last year, Ray’s pretty much been the only one that’s been a steady force,’’ Pierce said. “The only guy that’s been healthy.’’
Yeah, Julian, let’s keep it that way.
And just in case you thought I wouldn’t put it in there, here’s Ray Allen talking about how good Paul Pierce’s body looks:
“It’s great, and he’s taking great care of his body,’’ Allen said. “He’s slimmed down, he’s really focused on his body, and that’s big for the team because we need him on the floor. Just like nobody has to tell me to get in shape or take care of my body, I’ve just got to do it because the team needs me on the floor. That’s the beautiful thing about us veteran guys.’’
A little more controversy from the Boston Herald (surprise! Man, they do know how to take five words and turn it into the story of the century) as the Celtics take on former friend now turned foe, Tony Allen. Here’s coach Doc Rivers explaining his surprise when TA did not end up in a green jersey this season:
“No,” Rivers said. “I don’t think so. I think he should have stayed. Our relationship was phenomenal, and he loved our players. Just sometimes you get into these contract negotiations and they become personal, and, you know, it happens. But I literally had him circled as being back. I assumed he would be back. But there’s nothing you can do about it now.”
“What drove you crazy more is that he was never healthy,” the coach said. “When you think about Tony’s career in Boston, he never had a long stretch where he could play through and get comfortable. . . . I just thought he never had a chance to be healthy for a long time. That kills you.
“But I never went in and out with him as far as the way I felt. It was just that his play had to improve, and he had to buy in. And he did buy in – and he loved it. I mean, he still will tell you he loved it with us. So that’s why it was so upsetting that he left. But, you know, listen, that’s the way it works. There’s nothing you can do about it. Tony hasn’t played much yet, but it’s early. It’s early, and Tony has a way. He’ll find a way. He’ll be on that floor eventually.”
I always find it interesting when coaches have such an affinity for incredibly frustrating players. I was not in the Celtics’ locker room everyday like TA and Rivers, so I have no idea what kind of relationship they had fostered. It appears as though Doc was a little hurt by Allen’s departure. Luckily in the long run, I actually think the team will be better off. As long as the team plays carefully around Marquis Daniels and he doesn’t shatter into a million little pieces. I mean, you heard what happened to Greg Oden, right?
From that same article, it appears that Rajon Rondo tried to appeal to TA’s green side but was unsuccessful. Not only was TA not convinced, he wouldn’t even hear it (literally):
“He didn’t answer,” Rondo said. “He declined all my calls. I tried to call him. I guess he made the decision that was best for him. He did what he wanted to do.”
This is pretty surprising. By not taking Rondo’s phone call and attempt at persuasion, it makes it seem like things ended in hurt feelings and/or bad blood. Or TA’s on-court persona mirrors his off-court persona and he just flaked out on that “possession”. Who knows? What I do know is that Allen is going to get a lot of love from the Celtics tonight.
Jessica Camerato of CSNNE.com has a fantastic article today regarding the metamorphosis of the relationship between Kendrick Perkins and Jermaine O’Neal:
O’Neal and Perkins have had their share of battles over the years. It was only two seasons ago that they exchanged words and were separated by teammates and coaches. Of all the members of the Celtics, O’Neal was the most skeptical of how he would gel with his once-heated opponent.
“Me and him have had so many altercations when we played against each other,” O’Neal told CSNNE.com. “You always wonder when you go to a team where you’ve had some run-ins with some guys, how will guys take to you?” But his biggest concern would turn out to be his biggest surprise. O’Neal had already been with the team for two weeks when Perkins, who had recently undergone knee surgery, entered the locker room. O’Neal didn’t anticipate what happened next. ”[We clicked] from Day One, really,” he said. “He came in right away, shook my hand, welcomed me there.” In that moment, any differences the two had in the past were gone. They were on the same team sharing the same goal.
Yet another reason why I love Kendrick Perkins. Perkins has a tendency to make himself the most hated guy on the court, but he also has the ability to instantly smooth things over. I understand the trepidation Jermaine O’Neal felt when he decided to become Kendrick’s teammate. I can only imagine the things that were said, the elbows that were thrown, the respect that was given and subsequently lost.
On the court, Perkins is all business and once. It’s almost the natural progression of things that Perkins is hated, and then beloved by new teammates. Once the new guys learn that Perk is just passionate and all business, the past becomes the past. Perk has mixed it up with Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Jermiane O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal and now, you wouldn’t even know it. Even with the threat of his job being usurped by these newbies, Perkins still remains positive and welcoming:
“I just wanted to let him know it’s on the court, it’s not outside of that,” explained Perkins. “I’m a great teammate, but when you’re on the other team, I’m really going at your head. But I wanted to show him there isn’t any tension outside of basketball, no beef or nothing, and just kind of welcome him with open arms.”
Be sure to check out the rest of the article when Perkins and O’Neal recount an altercation in Toronto.
Around the league:
- Friday night was a bit of a bizarro world in the NBA. Orlando lost to Toronto in a game where 7 foot rebounding machine Dwight Howard was outrebounded by 6’7″ Reggie Evans. Evans also happens to be a rebounding machine but when the rise of the machines does eventually happen, I would have put my money on the bigger/faster machines. Perhaps I should rethink my strategy. Aw hell, who cares? The Zombies will have taken us out by then anyway…
- According to Yahoo! Sports, it looks like the Hornets may try to move Peja Stojakovic and Marcus Thornton if they can improve their roster. Dare I suggest this? It’s perfect. The Hornets need another defensive-minded, long-armed defender to compliment Trevor Ariza and you know Detroit could use another under-sized shooting guard to compliment Ben Gordon, Rodney Stuckey, and Will Bynum. Did I say compliment? I think I meant ” be a complete carbon copy”. I get those confused all the time…