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Kendrick Perkins returns to Boston for first time Monday

Jan 16, 2012, 9:51 AM EDT

It’s going to be weird.

With all due respect to Jeff Green, nobody in the Boston locker room wanted the Kendrick Perkins trade to go down. Perk was part of the family, part of the foundation, part of the reason there is banner 17 at the Boston Garden. Celtics fans didn’t like it much either, or the results since the trade. We can rationalize why it happened — maybe why it needed to happen as a basketball business move — but nobody really liked it.

Perkins landed on his feet. He’s now playing on the Oklahoma City Thunder, a serious title contender and the favorite to come out of the West. Perkins was a piece the young Thunder needed — someone to protect the rim, some size and grit inside to match up with the long front lines of the Lakers and Grizzlies. He was maybe the last piece to their puzzle.

But it’s going to be weird. Which is what players said in the video above and told A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.

“I don’t give a crap what uniform he has on,” Doc Rivers said. “He’s a Celtic for life, and he knows that.”

“We still talk daily,” Rajon Rondo said. “We’re still best friends.”

“Perk’s like my little brother,” Kevin Garnett said. “We speak quite frequently. I know when he first went out there, we spoke if not everyday, every other day. I know him and Rondo speak damn near on the hour.”

It’s not just going to be weird for the Celtics players and fans.

“It’ll be weird for me,” Perkins told CSNNE.com when asked about his first return to the Garden on Monday night. “Because you know, all I know — all I knew — was being a Celtic. But hey man, it’s a business….”

Said Perkins: “You know I’m always going to have love for Boston and the fans. I had some good times, some bad times, too. But they showed me a lot of love, lot of love.”

  1. acdc363 - Jan 16, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    We love you too Perk

  2. kacapaco - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    U know u r always a Celtic. Love u Perk.

  3. kacapaco - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    U know u r always a Celtic. Love u Perk.

  4. africanballer - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Doc Rivers, I think the uniform Perk is donning is the first indication of the franchise he plays for, and the one he is commited to.

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