On the court, Kendrick Perkins is all scowls.
With a strong, bulky frame, a physical game, and a mouth seemingly molded in a permanent frown, Perk has earned the moniker “The Beast.” He pumps his fist, howls his pleasure after a good play, and stares menacingly at refs and opponents alike.
“I keep a frown on my face all the time when I’m on the court,” Perkins told NBA.com in an interview. “It’s just like I’m going to play hard, I’m going to play rough.”
“You can see it man, you can see it,” said Kevin Garnett regarding Perkins’ intensity and confidence on the court. “If you look on his face, he doesn’t have a doubt on his face. In his look, in his face, there’s no doubt.”
There’s no smile, either. Unless, that is, you meet Kendrick Perkins off the court. Then, he’s a different guy.
“I do smile,” Perkins explained. “I’m actually a cool guy off the court. Once you get on the court, it’s your job.”
A job that leads to Perk the tough guy, Perk the intimidator, Perk the enforcer. At home, though, Kendrick Perkins is nothing more than a softy.
“I’m too soft. I’ve got a little boy, and I just let him do whatever,” said Perkins. “[My wife] will make rules like trying to take him off the sippy cup, but I’m giving him the cup all day.”
Perkins’ wife, Vanity, wishes people could see the other side of her husband, the side only she knows, and is rubbed the wrong way that people find her husband to be such a mean person.
“It kind of bothers me because I know different. Everybody thinks he’s so mean, but he’s not. It’s just how he portrays himself on the court.
“He’s a great husband, a great father. He and my son get along perfect; they love each other.”
On the court, though, Perk shows his opponents no love, no mercy. If he has to throw his elbow, Perk’s going to throw that elbow. If he has to use his hip to knock Dwight Howard away from the basket, Perk’s going to use that hip too. And if he blocks your shot, or if he disagrees with a call, he’s going to make you know about it with his trademark scowl and maybe a pump of the fist.
But that’s just what the team needs from Perk, what Doc Rivers wants.
“We want him to be a rebounder, a shotblocker,” Doc said. “We want him to be physical.”
On the court, that’s exactly what Kendrick Perkins is. He’s a tough player, one who lacks the finesse and skill others possess but makes up for it with strength, tenacity and attitude.
But that scowl that never leaves him while he’s on the court?
Perk says it isn’t entirely his fault.
“It’s hard to smile when you’re playing with KG,” Perkins said.
“He’s got you all pumped up, and he never smiles either. It’s just like playing on the side of him, kind of feeding off him a lot, feeding off his energy.”
(All quotes used are from this interview, found at NBA.com)