Kendrick Perkins returned to the TD Garden on Monday night for the first time since being traded from the Boston Celtics, saying beforehand that he didn't know what kind of reception to expect.
An emotional reception was what he received. Perkins was treated to a video montage designed to thank the rugged center for his time in Boston, and the fans gave him a rousing standing ovation.
"That [video] was unbelievable. You know I really appreciate it," Perkins said. "I say this time and time again, I really appreciate the whole city of Boston [and] the whole Celtics organization. Just the way that they embraced me, time and time again. [Drafted] out of high school, to who I developed into as a player now. I just want to let them know I really appreciate it.
"They didn't have to do [the video]. It ain't like they just put some nonsense together. They didn't have to do it. I'm not taking it for granted. I want to let people know I greatly appreciate it." (via ESPN Boston)
Now an Oklahoma City Thunder center, Perkins told reporters that a part of him would always be a Celtic, saying that Boston is where he grew from an 18-year old boy into a 26-year old man. Perkins said he still speaks to many of his former teammates, especially Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett, and attributed Garnett with teaching him how to play basketball unselfishly.