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#pounditThursday, April 25, 2024

Kendrick Perkins calls out Pelicans: ‘This is not what I signed up for’

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Rugged veteran center Kendrick Perkins is not used to a culture of losing basketball. He made the NBA Finals with all three teams that he was on prior to this season, has cracked the playoffs in nine of his 12 seasons in the league (including the last eight in a row), and has a championship ring from the 2008 Boston Celtics. But this year with the New Orleans Pelicans has been a very different story, and Big Perk isn’t pleased with it one bit.

With the team currently sitting at 12-26, Perkins put his teammates on blast Wednesday for what he believes to be a lack of effort. “It’s very disappointing. At the end of the day, this is not what I signed up for,” Perkins said to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. “I signed up after I looked from the outside, coming in to a good young team that has been making strides in the right direction. We got real comfortable. We ain’t got long to make a push.”

The 31-year-old Perkins is getting next to zero playing time this season, averaging 3.0 points per game and 2.1 rebounds per game in 9.2 minutes per game across just nine appearances. He also has been hurt for much of the year.

But Perkins’ gripes are valid. Much of New Orleans’ terribleness this season derives from a sheer lack of drive and intensity. Trying to get this team to put forth a consistent effort is almost becoming a Sisyphean task, as many Pelicans often take entire possessions off on both ends and fail to hustle up the floor in transition.

For Perkins, who was brought in over the summer as a warhorse mentor for Anthony Davis and the other young Pelicans, he knows the habits of winning teams because he has been there many times before. Heck, if someone were to write a book entitled The 7 Habits of Highly Effective NBA Teams, Perkins would probably be approached for an interview. But let’s just say that nothing the New Orleans Pelicans are doing right now would make it within a 23-mile radius of that book and Perk knows it.

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