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Sunday, January 15, 2012
Doc on Perk: Celtic for life

By Chris Forsberg

Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesKendrick Perkins returns to Boston on Monday to play his ex-team for the first time.
Nearly 11 months after he was dealt to Oklahoma City in a jaw-dropping deadline day swap, Kendrick Perkins returns to Boston to play the Celtics for the first time since that trade when the Thunder visit the Celtics Monday night at TD Garden (8 p.m., TNT).

Boston sent Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City in exchange for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and a future first-round draft pick. Green is sitting out the season after undergoing surgery this month to repair an aortic aneurysm, while Krstic bolted overseas this summer amidst the lockout (the Celtics will likely collect that draft pick this summer; it's the Clippers' pick and top-10 protection is unlikely to come into play given how well Los Angeles has played at the start of the season).

Boston's struggles ever since the deal has only made it more unpopular in the court of public opinion. The Thunder arrive with an 11-2 record (second-best in the NBA behind only Chicago at 12-2), while the Celtics are limping through a 4-7 start (this after the lack of a healthy center didn't aid their cause in a second-round playoff exit last season).

After Saturday's loss in Indiana, Celtics coach Doc Rivers was asked about going up against Perkins for the first time.

"That will be tough for me, that will be different," Rivers told reporters. "Perk's a Celtic -- I don’t give a crap what uniform he has on, he’s a Celtic for life. And he knows that."

(h/t: Red's Army)