Kendrick Perkins returned to the TD Garden Monday night for the first time since being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, saying that his homecoming was "hard" despite love for his former teammates and the city of Boston.
"It was hard. Coming here and playing against your family that you've grown with. You know, the love, the brotherhood and everything, just the whole city of Boston. I grew up here, coming here as a young boy at 18," Perkins said.
"During the first quarter I was just full of emotions, mixed emotions. I didn't know what to do. I just kept playing, and it was a difficult situation."
Perkins wasted little time showing that even his best friend would receive no easy layups, knocking Rajon Rondo to the floor during a fast break in the first quarter. The Boston Celtics later provided Perkins with a video montage to thank him for his Boston career. Afterward the crowd was loving in its Perkins praise, calling him out onto the floor to wave his hands in appreciation.