No doubt about it, Kendrick Perkins has had a busy off-season. The Oklahoma City center set his mind to getting in better shape since his Thunder were bounced in the 2011 NBA Western Conference Finals by eventual league champion Dallas.
And during the Thunder's visit to American Airlines Center on Sunday night to face those same Mavericks in the preseason opener for both clubs, getting a first look at the slimmer Perkins, who has dropped some 32 pounds since the end of last season, was a bit jarring, at least at first.
The big fella who is still only 27 but is entering his 10th year in the NBA has definitely put the work in and now the Nederland, Texas native is ready to reap the dividends of his extensive lifestyle change over the summer and the Thunder are also ready to see those payoffs.
Perkins, the 27th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, came over from Boston in February in a deal that sent Jeff Green to the Celtics. He hadn't played much with the Celts last year ...