While Kendrick Perkins has made a name for himself at ESPN, his origins trace back to the NBA, when he was a big man for several different franchises.
During his playing days, he had his best stretch as a member of the OKC Thunder. In 2013, big Perk helped Oklahoma City secure the top seed in the West right before making a run to the Finals.
Speaking on NBA Today, Perkins looked back on his tenure in OKC:
"I never took it for granted. Making it to the Finals, people don't realize it's a big accomplishment in itself. And when you're dealing with a lot of young players on a team, a lot of young players that wanna achieve individual things, individual goals, a lot of young players that wanna get a big bag. That's what separated that Oklahoma City Thunder team. James Harden wanted to be a franchise guy. James Harden wanted his own team. James Harden wanted all his letters. So when you have a team like that it's hard to build a dynasty because you can't knock a person for wanting to get $200+ million here instead of settling for $80 million here..."
It's easy to forget how good the 2012 Thunder were. They had a young Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka. They finished 2nd in the West that year with a 47-19 record.
While Perk didn't play a huge role for that team, he's not losing sight of all the hard work and dedication his team had to endure along the way.
Of course, the Thunder lost the 2012 Finals, and they never got back during the Durant era.
But making the Finals even once is no easy task and Kendrick Perkins knows more than anyone to appreciate that milestone.