Kendrick Perkins’ Jayson Tatum rant draws eye-opening response from Danny Ainge
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said he respects Perkins as a person, but added he hopes his players drown out the noise coming from the pundits and analysts:
“I think Perk is paid to have opinions, and he’s out there and he’s giving a lot of opinions,” Ainge said, via Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston. “I love Perk. I hope those guys aren’t being impacted by things that people are saying that are media heads that are paid to give an opinion. Hopefully they’re just talking it through [and] they don’t pay too much attention to all the noise out there, which one of them said. That’s a good thing.”
Perkins first tweeted Tatum was “hurtin the team” with his body language.
Jayson Tatum, you got paid the big bucks! You have the body language and energy level of an underpaid player and it’s hurtin the team. Time to step up and live up to your role, straight up. Carry on…
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) April 7, 2021
Perkins elaborated on the tweet during an appearance on NBC Sports Boston’s “Celtics Postgame Live,” suggesting Tatum needs to exhibit more leadership:
“When you look at all the other stars around the league, they compete, they compete, they compete,” Perkins said, via NBC Sports Boston. “They don’t have bad body language. They’re enthusiastic. They’re supporting their teammates. They’re always talking to their teammates. And it’s part of him I guess growing, but you’ve got to have that. You have to learn those leadership skills.”
Alternatively, Ainge seems to want Tatum to stay within himself and focus on his game.
It is worth noting the two-time All-Star has been through quite a bit this season, including a bout with COVID-19 in January that Tatum has said is still impacting his conditioning.
Perkins and Ainge can surely agree on one thing: the Celtics 26-26 record will need Tatum to kick it into high gear as Boston tries to improve its seeding and build momentum for the playoffs.