Tonight Kendrick Perkins will return to Chesapeake Energy Arena for the first time since being traded away from the OKC Thunder last February. The expectation is for Perk to receive a handsome welcome from everyone because of the impact he made as a teammate and a flag bearer for the Thunder franchise.
He left behind a legacy of wise lessons and memorable tales.
"A great teammate," Nick Collison said. "One of the best teammates of all-time."
Everyone has their favorite Perk story. Maybe it was the time he sat on Mike Miller mid-game. Or the time he was mic'd up and shown trying to convince the referee to let him and Randolph foul each other without whistle all night because both were cool with it.
Or, if you're Steven Adams, it was the time he nailed the New Zealander with a sharp elbow in one of Adams' first training camp practices and then barked at the rookie center: "I'm the only Silverback!"
"I was like ‘What the...?' " Adams said. "We got some animals in the NBA."
Perk provided loads of entertainment for the fans. But for his teammates, he was most valuable for the locker room education. At the core of his teachings was one of his favorite terms — "We all in the boat."
That boat has set sail again, this time without Perkins. But Thunder fans should definitely rise tonight and give a few hearty claps for the guy who helped build the swagger and ruthlessness of the Thunder's style of play.