Perkins improves his game while on the shelf

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Perkins improves his game while on the shelf

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

Kendrick Perkins grabbed a basketball and hoisted up a long-range shot in between quarters of last week's Celtics-Nuggets game.

Nothing but . . . air.

"You seen that shot?" he laughed. "I couldnt get my suit jacket up."

Perkins continues to stay close to the game while he rehabs from a right knee injury he suffered during the NBA Finals. He supports his team from the bench at the TD Garden and goes through drills of his own at the Celtics practice facility.

Last month Perkins filled CSNNE.com in on four things to know about his rehab. He recently shared new updates on his road to recovery as he eyes a return to the court in February.

STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Perkins was fitted for a new knee brace last week and plans to begin wearing it on Tuesday. He anticipates the latest brace will allow him to do even more on the court.

"I'm just taking it one day at a time," he said. "I think I'm starting to do more basketball things. Last Wednesday I got measured for my knee brace, so it's been cool. It means I can start doing more court work, stuff like that."

A JUMP SHOOTER IN THE MAKING
Perkins' goals go beyond returning healthy. He wants to return a better basketball player, too, and is focusing on specific areas of his game.

"Believe it or not, just more of my jumper, just touch around the 12, 15-foot area," he said. "If I have a shot, take it, stuff like that. And improving my free-throw shooting (60.4 FT career), that's been my thing. So I'm trying to drop a few more pounds. I want to lose about 10 more to get down to 260."

AN UNDERSTANDING EAR
Perkins is just one of several injured players on the Celtics. While he's there to listen if teammates like Delonte West and Jermaine ONeal want to talk, he also respects the sensitivity of their situations.

"Yeah, in a way I do give them advice, but at times it's like, what can you tell a guy?" he said. "You can tell him to stay positive, just pull him along to work out with you, things like that. Other than that, you don't really want to pile too much on him because I know it's a difficult time."

NEW SOURCE OF STRENGTH
As Perkins' physical strength improves, so does his mental endurance. Perkins, who turned 26 last month, has learned a lot about himself in the past six months.

"I think mentally you grow better as a person," he reflected. "It's easy when things are going good for you. You can always stay in the flow of things. But when there's adversity against you, it's how you deal with it. So I think mentally I became stronger.

"Obviously I want to be back out there on the court, but other than that, things are going real well."
Follow Jessica Camerato on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba.

C's players mull how to utilize platform as athletes for social commentary

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C's players mull how to utilize platform as athletes for social commentary

WALTHAM -- The national anthem protests by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick have had an undeniable ripple effect on professional sports teams across the country. And that includes the Boston Celtics.
 
“We as an organization know what’s going on,” said Marcus Smart. “We read and see and hear about it every day. It’s a sensitive subject for everybody.”
 
While it’s unlikely that Celtics players will do something similar to Kaepernick taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem, there’s no question some are figuring out the best way to utilize their platform as athletes to express their views on current social issues.
 
“Us athletes have to take advantage of the stage we’re on,” said Jae Crowder. “Try to make a positive out it. You can’t fix negative problems with negative energy. I don’t want to do anything negative; I want to do something positive, shed light on the situation.”
 
Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, and a number of professional athletes have tried to have more attention paid to recent killings of African-Americans by police officers where, based on the video footage, it appears excessive or unnecessary force was used.
 
It is a topic that has brought a wide range of responses from many in the sports world, including the dean of NBA coaches, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.
 
During the Spurs’ media day this week, he was asked about the Kaepernick’s protests.
 
“I absolutely understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, and I respect their courage for what they’ve done,” Popovich told reporters. “The question is whether it will do any good or not because it seems that change really seems to happen through political pressure, no matter how you look at it.”
 
As examples of the political pressure he was referring to, Popovich mentioned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ability to galvanize group, as well as the NBA and other organizations pulling their events out of the state of North Carolina because of its legislation as it relates to the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
 
“The important thing that Kaepernick and others have done is keep it in the conversation,” Popovich said.
 
And while there may be differing opinions as to whether Kaepernick or any other athlete should be protesting, the one common thread that seems to bind the Celtics players and the front office is them having the right to speak out not only as professional athletes, but Americans.
 
“The biggest thing is we all really value the freedoms that we have and that we’ve been allotted,” said coach Brad Stevens, who added that he has had individual discussions with players on this subject. “We certainly support an individual’s freedoms. It’s been great to engage in those discussions. It’s been really fun for me how excited our guys are about using their platform.”
 
And that more than anything else is why Crowder feels the Celtics have to have a united front as far as the message they present to the masses.
 
“If we want change we have to do it together,” Crowder said. “I feel like those guys (other athletes) used their platforms well. I think more athletes should do the same. You can’t do it with any hatred; you can’t do it with any negative. You have to do it with positive energy.”