The Boston Celtics trading center Kendrick Perkins (along with guard Nate Robinson) to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for forward Jeff Green and center Nenad Krstic during the 2010-11 season was a controversial move at the time and remains one of the most interesting "what if?" moments in recent C's history.
The Celtics, without Perkins' interior defense and locker room presence, were soundly beaten in five games by LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2011 NBA playoffs. Would Perkins have turned the series in Boston's favor? Probably not, but he would've made the Heat work harder on offense, while also giving the Celtics a much-needed physical edge.
Boston fans weren't the only people shaken up over the trade. Celtics players were emotional, too.
Perkins recently appeared on the "Woj Pod" with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and provided some insight into how Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo handled the news of his trade to OKC.
"I go to Doc's room, me and him both cry like babies," Perkins said. "Then I go to KG's room, we cry like babies. I go to Paul's room, we cry like babies. Rondo's like, "F--- this s--t, I'm retiring.' I was like, 'Nah, bro, you can't do that.' He's like, "Nah, man, this is some bulls--t, man, they traded my best friend.'"
This story is just further proof the bond between Perkins, Rondo, Garnett and Pierce was really special. They made up 80 percent (along with Ray Allen) of the starting lineup that won the Celtics the 2008 NBA Finals over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. This group never lost a playoff series in which they all were healthy and on the court.
Perkins never won a championship with the Thunder, but OKC did sign him to a lucrative four-year contract extension before he ever played a single game for them. He admitted to Wojnarowski that the extension helped him move on from the sting of leaving Boston. That said, it's clear Perkins and his former Celtics teammates built a relationship that should remain strong for a very long time.
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