Perkins on Pierce, KG return: It's going to be crazy

Perkins on Pierce, KG return: It's going to be crazy
January 25, 2014, 9:00 am
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BOSTON — Although Kendrick Perkins is in a better place now in Oklahoma City financially as well as competing for an NBA title, the former Celtic cherishes the time he spent here.

It is a common emotion evoked by most who spend time donning the Green and White, an emotion that's only strengthened when you throw in an NBA title.

That's why Perkins is a big believer that when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett return to the TD Garden on Sunday for the first time since being traded to Brooklyn, it will be an emotional time for both players.

Especially Pierce who spent his entire NBA career with Boston until the blockbuster trade this summer sent him and Garnett along with Jason Terry, to the Nets.

"I expect it to be crazy," said Perkins. "I expect them to get a pretty good welcome back which is well deserved, I think."

And yes, there will be a video tribute, which Perkins knows all too well is when the emotions will flow most freely.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they both shed a few tears to be honest with you," Perkins said.

Even Garnett?

"Yeah, even Kevin."

Playing for the Celtics was in many ways like being part of an extended family. But being part of the 2008 championship team forged a bond that goes deeper than the game of basketball.

When Garnett has talked about that team, the word "brotherhood" is often one of the more common references he'll make about that team.

Oklahoma City guard Derek Fisher has won five NBA titles, all with the Los Angeles Lakers. He knows a thing or two about returning to face a former team and the emotions that spring to life upon those encounters.

"It's emotional," Fisher told CSNNE.com. "With fans, old teammates, coaches, staff, everybody in the building. They know your family, so it's definitely emotional."

Fisher acknowledged that there's a different kind of vibe returning to face a team you won a championship with.

"Especially if a lot of those guys are there when you go back," Fisher said. "Everybody doesn't get to have that experience because it's very few guys that have been on championship teams."

Perkins, who was traded to Oklahoma City shortly before the February trade deadline in 2011 for Jeff Green, looks back fondly on his seven-plus seasons in Boston.

"Those some great times, some great moments," Perkins says, grinning. "We had a lot of fun. It was probably some of the best times in my NBA career."

And as much as Perkins felt connected to the Boston Celtics, the video montage they put together for him gave him a sense that there was a mutual respect for what he did while donning the Green and White.

"It was emotional for me I know," Perkins said. "You don't get that everywhere. I came back; I wasn't expecting that. Just the whole standing ovation, it brings back memories and makes you very emotional. It's a blessing."

And he anticipates Pierce and Garnett will have similar emotional hurdles to overcome on Sunday.

But there's one thing that will probably make their return a little less emotional than his.

Perkins acknowledged it was tough for him because he was playing "against guys (I) went to war with and won a title with. But now it's a little different. There's only one guy (Rajon Rondo) I know over there from the (championship) team."