Kendrick Perkins, Booed By Celtics Fans: ‘I Know They Still Love Me’

BOSTON — Before being send away in a controversial trade four seasons ago, Kendrick Perkins became a fan favorite among Celtics fans for his physical play and great defense on two NBA Finals teams.

He found himself on the other side Sunday. Perkins, now a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, was booed for the first time at TD Garden after decking C’s guard Jae Crowder to the floor with a hard screen in the second quarter during Game 4 of the Cavs’ first-round playoff series against the Celtics.

“Yeah, that was surprising,” Perkins said of being booed. “But I know they still love me. It was (strange). When it first happened and I went to the free throw line, I could sense it was kind of iffy. ‘Do we boo Perk or do we not boo him,’ but they had to boo me. I just smiled.”

Perkins described the play as just a hard pick.

“It wasn’t nothing,” Perkins. “I went out to set a screen, hard pick, it was an offensive foul. You know, things happen. Guys get tangled up, have a couple words exchanged and then you move on.

“No. I was really just coming in. We were in foul trouble, (Kevin Love) got hurt. Couple minutes were there for me to just play. I didn’t go in with the intention of sending a message, I’m just playing my game. ”

Perkins said he wasn’t surprised it was a physical game given the nature of the series so far and the situation Boston was in facing elimination.

“They got a good young team,” Perkins said. “They were physical last game. They’re well-coached, and they don’t give up. They’re physical from top to bottom. Their point guards are physical, their big men, so you expected that. And it’s the playoffs. You gotta come out and try to do something, especially when you’re down 0-3, you gotta do something.”

This time, that “something” earned Perkins some unfamiliar treatment in Boston.

Thumbnail photo via  Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images

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