Kendrick Perkins’ No. 43 may never hang in the rafters alongside the banners honoring the likes of Bill Russell, Larry Bird and Bob Cousy. However, he still left an indelible impression on the Boston Celtics franchise as a member of its 2008 NBA Championship team.
More than a decade later, he brings the same dogged approach to his work as a studio analyst that he once provided as one of the NBA’s toughest big men. Time and time again, he has been willing to put himself out there with biting criticism of the league’s best teams and biggest stars.
On Wednesday night, though, in the wake of a particularly rough loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Perkins set his sights on his former club, offering harsh words for its key players and the team as a whole.
Perkins Insinuates That Celtics Are Entitled
While discussing the Cavs game with Perkins and host Abby Chin on the Celtics’ post-game show on NBC Sports Boston, team insider Chris Forsberg wasn’t pulling any punches in his assessment of the Cs.
“I kind of don’t even know where to start with this team and the many issues they have,” he said. “I feel like they just want it to come easy and I don’t understand that at all.”
When asked for his opinion on Forsberg’s take and the team in general, Perkins took those comments and built upon them with a blistering appraisal of his own.
“It almost feels like the Celtics have a sense of entitlement. It’s like they’re going to walk in the building and just show up and teams are going to lay down,” declared Perkins.
“No, teams are going to go at you now. You have two All-Stars, and Chris is right — when it matters the most, I’m not seeing them dig deep, I’m not seeing passion where they’re pumping each other up, saying, ‘Let’s get a stop, hey — one more stop. Let’s get a couple stops in a row.'”
Finally, Perkins fired a shot at some of the Celtics’ core players.
“The Cavs come down, they move the basketball, get a wide-open three, make it. Guess what? Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, guess what they’re doing? Coming off a screen and they’re trying to answer with a three-pointer. Even Marcus Smart — they’re worried about offense so much that they’re losing their identity on the defensive end.”
To Perkins’ point, the Celtics came on strong offensively in the fourth quarter, scoring 36 points. However, they also allowed the Cavs to score 35 of their own, which didn’t bode well given the fact that Boston had trailed in the contest by as many as 21 points.
As a result, the club finds itself saddled with a .500 record at 20-20 and the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. As noted by Forsberg, Boston is now 11-16 in games that had a differential of five points or less in the final five minutes.
That is decidedly anti-clutch.
Shortly after his post-game appearance, Perkins took to Twitter to share his belief that the Celtics are currently in a bad way and changes are now necessary.
“Celtics are in trouble and I think it’s time to shake things up!!! Real Talk,” he wrote.
Following a rest day on Thursday, the Celtics will be back in action on Friday night with a home game against the Sacramento Kings. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.