Published On: Sun, Jul 16th, 2017

Kendrick Perkins 'waiting on an opportunity' to get back in NBA

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Mark D. Smith / USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Kendrick Perkins still has more basketball left in the tank, and is hopeful one of the NBA’s 30 teams will take a chance on him.

“The body feels good, man. I’m just sitting here waiting on an opportunity,” the 32-year-old told The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn during a visit to the Las Vegas Summer League. “Hopefully I can get a training camp invite soon. I want to earn my way. I don’t want nobody to give me nothing. So I’ve been working hard, going two or three times a day, working and grinding. I’m just trying to stay with it.”

Perkins was last seen competing for the New Orleans Pelicans for 37 outings in 2015-16, averaging 2.5 points and 3.5 rebounds on 53.3 percent shooting coming off the bench.

He elected to sit out all of last season after it was apparent no one was particularly interested in him. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and being away from the game he loves put a lot of things into perspective for Perkins.

“You’re sitting back, waiting on a job, you want in and not just sitting around the house. I wasn’t ready for that in that point in my life,” Perkins added. “I think it was a very humbling situation for me. I thought it made me realize the importance and not to take it for granted.”

His big claim to fame was serving as the starting center for the 2008 Boston Celtics squad that went on to capture the championship that year. Perkins has also suited up for the Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers since being drafted 27th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2003.

Perkins is a bulky, plodding big who was never one to stretch the floor, which has become a virtual necessity for players of his stature in today’s game. Knowing that, the 6-foot-10 center prioritized improving his stamina and slimming down, hoping that will help him catch someone’s eye.

“I’ve been keeping my weight down, making sure I’m getting all the cardio I need, staying in great shape,” he said. “I’m just going to do what I can. I feel good. I’ve been on top of my basketball work and I’m just waiting for my opportunity, it if happens. I’ve just changed my diet, working on my quickness, and just trying to get better. It’s 30 teams out there and I’m just looking for one opportunity. It will come. I’m just trying to leave it in God’s hands.”

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