Kendrick Perkins has been a divisive figure in the Lakers community for over a decade, and not because of anything he did. After Los Angeles beat the Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals, Boston’s fans swore up and down that their team would have won if Perkins was healthy, and it’s a hill some of them are willing to die on to this day.
Whether that’s true (it’s not) doesn’t matter anymore, though, because Perkins is the reason Anthony Davis is a Laker — well, sort of.
In a recent interview with Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Perkins said he planted a seed in Davis’ mind about playing with James somewhere down the line back when they were Pelicans teammates:
BACK IN 2015, NBA journeyman center Kendrick Perkins landed in New Orleans, where he would play one season alongside Davis on the Pelicans. On the road, the two would frequently break bread together, and their dinner conversations would often turn toward James, whom Perkins had played with on the AAU circuit as a teenager. They were also teammates in Cleveland during James’ second stint with the Cavs. During those dinners, Perkins would gush about the four-time MVP’s focus and preparation.
”I used to brag about Bron a lot with him,” Perkins says. “He really didn’t have to ask me [about James]. I was doing more of the talking.”
Then, when Davis was in the market for a new agent in 2018, it was Perkins that led Davis to Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who also represents James:
In the summer of 2018, when word got out that Davis could be looking for a new agent, it was Perkins who introduced Davis to Klutch Sports.
”I thought it was the best thing for AD,” Perkins says. “I thought he needed to be around that type of greatness.”
Of course, Davis ultimately made these decisions on his own, but having Perkins in his ear seemingly didn’t hurt.
So, next time a Celtics fan tells you Boston would have won in 2010 if Perkins was healthy, let them have it, because your team has Davis and a championship this decade, even if Perkins really only helped with that first thing.