but I was reading about Dave Cowens and I couldn't help think about Perk. Cowens was 6'9" and was undersized by most standards for a center but he made up for any lack of height by hustle and hard work. Perk is 6'10" and has a work ethic second to none. He works very hard to improve all the time.
Cowens came into the league after 4 years in college. Perk came in right out of high school. This is his 4th season, but he got very little playing time his first two years and not much more last year. I believe that Perk is going to have a break out year this year. He finally got some playing time last season and was showing some great moves when he was injured.
2 sentences in the article on Cowens caught my eye:
"It was Cowens' consistency, work ethic, unselfishness, versatility and energy that established him as one of the most solid and respected centers in recent NBA history."
"An unlikely hero in a sport dominated by men of greater size and natural ability, the red-haired lefthander relied on hustle and heart to achieve NBA greatness. His determination helped to resurrect a Celtics dynasty presumed dead after the departure of legend Bill Russell."
Perk hasn't shown much consistency yet but he hasn't been given much of a chance either. But his work ethic, unselfishness, versatility, and energy are very evident. His work ethic is second to none and I believe this is going to pay dividends. Also, Perk is an unlikely hero. Many don't see him as becoming a dominant center. He has had to overcome a lot in his life to get here. His first year, he completely rebuilt his body from high school shape to NBA shape. He hasn't been given much playing time as yet in his career, having to take a back seat to Stone Hands Blount and Raef who prefers to play out on the 3 point line than under the basket. I believe he will, like Cowens, also rely on hustle and heart to achieve NBA greatness.
Many point to Perk's propensity to foul and say that he won't get anywhere because of it. Here is another quote from the Cowens' article:
"One of the things Cowens did too much in his rookie year with the Celtics was foul other players; he committed a league-high 350 infractions. (He would foul out of 90 games by the end of his career, a total that ranks among the top 20 of all time.)"
Referees don't give young centers much respect and they don't get the fouls that veterans do. Last season, Perk didn't get called for fouls near as much as he did the season before. If Dave Cowens could dominate in the league and get called for a large amount of fouls, so can Perk. Fouling a lot also comes from their strong desire to win and going all out on the court to prevent the other team from scoring ... "No Layups."
"At 6-9 and 230 pounds, Cowens certainly was neither the biggest nor the most overpowering center in the league, particularly when compared to the likes of Lanier, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain. His versatility and energy were his greatest assets, along with a willingness to sacrifice his own scoring total -- and his body -- for the good of the team.
Cowens ran baseline to baseline, set picks, made heady passes, participated in full-court presses, blocked seemingly unblockable shots, dived into the crowd after loose balls, muscled through the paint for tip-ins, and generally made himself a nuisance to Celtics opponents."
I believe that after this season, the above could be used to describe Perk. Perk may not be the biggest or most overpowering center in the league, particularly compared to the likes of Shaq, and Yao Ming. His versatility and energy and hustle are his greatest assets, along with a willingness to sacrifice his own scoring total and his body for the good of the team.
Perk runs the floor well and sets picks and is one of the team's best outlet passers. He blocks seemingly unblockable shots, dives for loose balls, muscles in for tip ins, and generally intimidates the other team.
Cowens' determination helped to resurrect the franchise that was presumed dead after the retirement of Bill Russell and I believe that Perk's determination will help to resurrect the franchise that is presumed dead after 20 years of hard times. "No Layups!"
Dave Cowens was only an inch shorter than Bill Russell. He was left-handed like him and could jump through the roof. I say Cowens was a better post player than Russell on the half-court set because he could dribble through traffic. Tall guys didn't bother him but forwards did like Billy Paultz or Dennis Awtrey.