Former NBA Champion Kendrick Perkins Becomes TBL Team Owner
By: Austin Fletcher
TBL CEO Evelyn Magley announced this week that former NBA Champion and ESPN TV personality Kendrick Perkins will become the team owner of the newest TBL expansion team in Texas. The city of Beaumont, located about an hour outside of Houston, will become the hometown city of the Beaumont Panthers.
Beginning in the 2022 season, the Panthers will join seven other expansion teams as they compete within the TBL. The pandemic may have hindered expansion plans and the ability for some TBL teams to play during the current 2021 season, but this move and other recent expansions show that the TBL is bouncing back stronger than ever and that the demand for the game of basketball has never been greater.
Kendrick Perkins, who was born and raised in the city of Beaumont, played 14 seasons in the NBA, most notably with the 2008 NBA Champion Boston Celtics and with the Oklahoma City Thunder during the Kevin Durant-James Harden-Russell Westbrook era. After announcing his retirement from the NBA in 2019, he joined ESPN as a basketball commentator and has become one of the most recognized NBA personalities on the network. Perkins can be frequently seen as a guest on flagship shows such as SportsCenter, First Take, and Get Up.
When asked about choosing to become the team owner of the Beaumont Panthers, Perkins remarked that the decision “was a no brainer.” As a community man and someone who still lives in Texas, Perkins said that leading the expansion team “is giving my hometown something to be proud of [and giving] a chance to those that didn’t have the opportunities” that higher-end prospects do during the normal recruiting cycle.
TBL CEO Evelyn Magley said that having Perkins to lead one of the newest expansions in Texas is an amazing opportunity for the league, specifically in the team’s immediate impact in the community. “We are thrilled to have Beaumont be a big piece of our expansion plans,” Commissioner Magley said, “and believe that having one of their favorite native sons help guide the program will be a nice jump start for exposure” for the Panthers as they enter their new market and for the TBL as a whole.
Perkins joins Steve Francis, owner of the Houston Push, and Jerome “Junkyard Dog” Williams, owner of the Vegas Ballers, as former NBA veterans with team market ownership in the TBL.
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