Season in Review: Kendrick Perkins as the Good Influence

Kendrick Perkins’ one-year tenure on the New Orleans Pelicans cannot be evaluated by the eye test at all. In fact, you can’t use stats to say how he contributed either. That makes it hard to write a season in review on him.

If you root for a team that he’s never played for you probably just think of his frown, endless memes, technical fouls, and probably wonder what he’s still doing in the league.

But then he signs with a team you follow and it all makes sense. This is probably the locker room guy in the NBA. Quantify/qualify that however you want, doesn’t matter, because it’s true.

Towards the beginning of the season Anthony Davis said he kind of hated Perkins. Then Perkins came to the team and Davis waxes rhapsodic about him. As do all the other Pelicans, coaches, and front office staff.

This is a guy who is vitally important to team chemistry. To righting the ship when it’s rough. To standing up and calling people out if need be. To being a leader. Think about teams that had a reported, dreaded Players Only Meeting. The Cavs, Lakers, Rockets, Wizards, Kings (with their GM!), and maybe the Bulls. Those teams weren’t exactly models of stability this season. Yet, the Pelicans, with their lofty expectations and disastrous start, never had one. Having Perkins on the team is partially a reason why.

I’d bet good money that teams called the Pelicans around the trade deadline asking about Perkins’ availability. And I bet the Pelicans said no because they see his value and contributions to the team on a vet minimum contract. (And because no one would give up much for him.)

We all want Anthony Davis to be in control of the team, to be a commanding presence, but, honestly, that hasn’t happened yet, and there is a good chance it never will. The Pelicans need a guy like Kendrick Perkins.

To catch-up on all Season in Review 2016 posts click here!

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