New Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers mentioned in a recent statement that he regretted trading Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins. The former Boston Celtics player was a tough defense-obsessed wide body that got the most of out his five fouls while playing with chips on both of his broad shoulders.
Perkins was menacing, easily agitated and overprotective when if comes to the paint and his teammates. With Perkins, the Celtics went to two NBA championship series in three seasons, including a 2007-08 win against the rival Los Angeles Lakers. Perkins was traded in 2011, and the Celtics never found themselves in the finals since.
What was once a tough-minded group of champions with Perkins were a group of grumpy old veterans with their best days behind them.
Griffin spent more time dusting his shorts off as the 2012-2013 season progressed. Rumors of Griffin lacking toughness grew to accusations of the former Rookie of The Year being soft, and teams will continue to target Griffin in order to disrupt flow and team chemistry. However, the Clippers don’t have an enforcer on their roster bigger than 6-foot to do some disrupting of their own.
Rivers’ revelation was as valuable as hindsight can be. But as the 2013-2014 season approaches, the organization has yet to acquire someone that will allow Griffin to focus on rebounding and scoring, and not so much on intimidated stares and verbal battles. If Rivers truly learned something from his days in Boston, he’ll have to groom somebody to pick up where Perkins left the Celtics.
ChristopherBrown is an NBA writer for RantSports.com Follow him on Twitter @whatrockschris. Like Him on Facebook.