Every once in a while, athletes don’t look right in their new uniforms. Whether it's Patrick Ewing in a Magic uni, Hakeem Olajuwon rocking the Toronto Raptors' colors, or Michael Jordan donning Wizards apparel, certain things don't appeal to the eye. I never had an issue seeing Ray Allen with the word HEAT across his jersey or Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett laced out in the black and white of the Brooklyn Nets. But something didn't sit well on Tuesday night, when Kendrick Perkins put on the hideous colors of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
What hurts most about it is that Perkins was our guy. He came to Boston as an overweight project out of high school, and left us too early, after Danny Ainge's panic move in 2011. As Perk fell to the floor in Game six of the 2010 NBA Finals, with a devastating knee injury, not only did the hopes for another banner crumble, but the future of the franchise began its downward spiral.
It never bothered me to see Perkins as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. It wasn't his choice. He was dealt there to add toughness to a team trying to cement itself as a yearly title contender. But then his career started to take a dip. As the team brought in new players, his minutes went down. Perk logged 26.8 minutes per game his first year in OKC, and only 19 mpg this season.
Then, last week, after a buy-out from the Jazz, he became a free agent. Perk had the ability to sign with any team of his choosing. He could have reunited with Doc Rivers in Los Angeles, or possibly gone home to a Texas team. But instead he signed with the enemy, LeBron James.
What is even more of a kick to the groin, James personally contacted Perkins.
Now we're getting the chance to come together, even though it's for a short time, to try to contend and win a title. It's been a blessing since I've been here. They welcomed me with open arms, my family and I. So it's been good. He didn't really have to (recruit me). He sent me a text but I was kind of leaning toward this way from the jump anyway. So he didn't really have to say too much but what's up, big fella? I was like, you know what's up.
Damn, that stings. Perk will give the Cavs that trademark snarl on the defensive end in the playoffs and it's going to suck. Even if he plays 5-10 minutes a game, we all know he's good for one or two hard fouls, and a variety of elbows and cheap shots.
I hope the Cavs crap the bed in the postseason. I really do. It's a bummer Perkins will have a front row seat. During the 2008 Finals run, I was able to meet a number of the players after a home game against Indiana, and Perk was by far the coolest cat of the group.
Unfortunately, times have changed, and Perk is the enemy, but it doesn't mean I have to like it.