OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — After playing for archrivals for the bulk of their NBA careers, it hasn’t always been the smoothest transition for Derek Fisher (formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers) and Kendrick Perkins (formerly of the Boston Celtics) to blend together with the Thunder.
The two were on opposite sides for a pair of championship series, with Perkins and the Celtics winning it all in 2008 and Fisher getting even in 2010.
“It seems so long ago. Oftentimes, we’re talking about things in the locker room and I’ll get ready to say something and I’ll have to think twice about it, like, ‘Perk was on that team, so I better be careful before I say what I’m getting ready to say,'” Fisher said.
“I’m sure he’s had those moments as well, just out of respect for each other.”
Fisher said there have been a few moments of irony, particularly when it looked for a time that Oklahoma City’s opponent in the finals would be Boston. But Miami rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the Eastern Conference finals to prevent that from happening.
Perkins said at the time that he was pulling for the Celtics and thought it would make him “play a little angry” to go against the franchise where he grew up before getting traded last season.
“You just want to get back at the team that traded you but at the end of the day, you’re just trying to win,” Perkins said.
Instead, he and his old nemesis are joining forces against the Heat.
“That’s just the way life seems to work, and so now here we are together trying to find a way to win one together,” Fisher said.