LOS ANGELES — While they didn’t show it on the court, the Los Angeles Lakers held a great deal of respect for Kendrick Perkins, and two key members of the Lakers were a little confused after hearing about his trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who host the Lakers on Sunday.
Thunder doctors, by the way, ruled Perkins out two to three more weeks with the sprained left knee sustained in his final game as a Celtics, Feb. 22 against Golden State.
While the Lakers won’t admit Perkins’ absence was the difference in their Game 7 victory over Boston last June, they did acknowledge his impact on the Celtics’ defense.
“I’m (curious about why) Boston (made the deal) but I’m sure they had their reasons,” forward Pau Gasol said. ” And they think they’ve gotten better I’m sure, that’s why they’ve done it, they have a better chance that way. But it was surprising because I think especially during the playoffs you need that bigger inside presence that’s going to give you defense and rebounds, those extra possessions. We’ll see how it plays out.”
Kobe Bryant was equally skeptical about the move and complementary about Perkins.
“Not sure how (the Thunder) are going to use him,” he said. “You know how I feel about Perk, how much respect I have for him on the defensive end of the floor and how hard he plays. It’s going to be interesting.”