Yes, you read that headline correctly.
According to the Waikato Times, the New Zealand men's basketball team is trying to tempt Celtics center Kendrick Perkins into playing for the country in international competition. The team's assistant coach, Dillon Boucher, says luring Perk is a long-term project, but believes it could happen.
"The Olympic Games and the world championships would be a pretty big carrot for him I'd imagine," Boucher told the Waikato Times.
Perkins, a native of Texas, has an estranged father living in Christchurch, New Zealand, who played for the national team in the 1980s and 1990s. Boucher was hoping the connection would be further enticement for Perk, but it seems his father doesn't want him playing for New Zealand.
"He has no intention of playing for the [New Zealand] Tall Blacks – not now or ever," Kenny Perkins told the Waikato Times on Friday. "His main goal is to play for the United States."
Perk was an integral piece to the Celtics' playoff run this season. His knee injury in Game 6 of the NBA Finals will leave him sidelined for approximately six months, but he is expected to return to the Boston lineup once he heals. Perkins averaged 10.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season for the Celtics.