Which feels a little odd considering the rivalry Perkins’ former team the Celtics had with LeBron over the years, but Perkins is now a Cavalier. Perkins told Cleveland.com he would play enforcer, that essentially he would be the Marty McSorley for Wayne Gretzky (that’s not a perfect analogy, but live with it).
“(There are) time and places that you could get one off,” said Kendrick Perkins, the Cavs’ newly acquired backup center who is a card-carrying, on-court enforcer. “You’ve got to make sure it’s the right time. At the end of the day you have to make sure you go out and play basketball.
“Obviously (Valanciunas) was trying to send a message because he had been getting beat all day on the pick-and-roll, and it happens, but it’s just bull(crap) and it ain’t cool.”
Like the league is not going to be watching now.
You can tell the playoffs are approaching because play is starting to get a little chippy around the league. Games have something on the line a lot of nights now and that leads to more intense — and often physical — play. And that makes Perkins feel right at home, regardless of the color of his uniform.
Somewhat predictably, he’s growing tired of the excessively physical plays being made against him.
LeBron has long talked about how non-basketball plays were the ones he’s had the most disdain for, and that once again was a familiar refrain after the win over the Raptors. But he also mentioned something else, which hinted at something that could resemble retaliation.
After being the recipient of a second flagrant foul in his past three games,Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James said he might have to take matters into his own hands in the future.
“Maybe I got to protect myself a little bit more, too,” James said after the Cavs’ 120-112 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. …
“I don’t want to get too much involved in it because I don’t want to cry about it because it’s not like I’m not able to get back up, but it’s a lot of plays that are just not basketball plays. …But the referees, they take care of it. They decide what [type of foul] it is or not. That’s what we got rules for. And for me, I need to maintain my focus and understand how important the game is, but at the same time, protect myself as well.”
It isn’t on James to do something to fight back that could get him ejected or suspended; for his opponents, that would be the best outcome possible.
But his teammates could certainly step in and issue a well-timed hard foul in these situations, just to send an important message that James will in fact be protected out there on a consistent basis.