Kendrick Perkins admits he used to pad his stats with Celtics by preserving his field goal-percentage

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former NBA big man Kendrick Perkins has been out of the league for quite some time, and he recently made a pretty hilarious admission about his career.

Though he was never known as a real offensive weapon, he admitted that he used to pad his stats by trying to preserve his shooting percentage.

He said so while defending his previous statement in which he claimed that Denver Nuggets MVP candidate Nikola Jokic is padding his own stats.

“I was with the [Boston] Celtics,” Perkins began. “I’m second all-time leader far as field-goal percentage in Celtic history. Robert Williams just passed me up. I was on the verge during that time when I was passing up Cornbread Maxwell, and he used to tell me, ‘Boy you better take that elbow jump shot.’ You know what I used to tell him, Stephen A. [Smith]? ‘You know what? I’m going straight dribble hand-off.'”

It’s pretty hilarious to hear Perkins talk about his own attempts at stat padding given his career numbers. In 14 years, he averaged 5.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. His career-high in terms of scoring in a single season topped out at 10.1 points per game during the 2009-10 campaign.

With that in mind, his field-goal percentage with the Celtics is quite impressive. He hit 56.3 percent of his shots with them across eight seasons and 454 regular season games.

That’s nothing to look down on.

As for Jokic, the kinds of numbers he puts up are just a bit more impressive. This season, the back-to-back MVP award winner is putting up a jaw-dropping 24.6 points, 11.7 boards and 10.0 assists per game.

The Serbian national is truly rewriting what people believe is possible for a center in the NBA, and if he does end up winning his third straight MVP award this season, there will be few who argue that it isn’t deserved.

Right now, the only real challenger to Jokic for the award figures to be Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers. He is currently one of the top scorers in the league, putting up 33.0 points per game so far this season.

It will be interesting to see how the MVP conversation progresses as the 2022-23 regular season quickly approaches its dramatic conclusion.

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Jonathan has worked as a sports writer covering NBA and NFL news since 2017. He's a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Vikings.