I was proud to call myself a Boston Celtics fan yesterday. More proud than usual.
Only a fan base that understands basketball can appreciate Perk enough to offer him such a long, standing ovation. Only a fan base that values hard work can feel so much love for Perk, the classic hard hat player without very many offensive skills. Some places, Perk’s contributions would go unnoticed. But not in Boston. No way.
I loved how Perk acknowledged his reception, too. Just a small wave, as if to tell the crowd, “I hear you.” Then, as usual, Perk went back to work. He didn’t smile, because he doesn’t do that on a basketball court. He waved his arm to accept the gracious support, then boxed out his opponent like his life depended on securing the rebound. Not even the standing ovation, which must have felt so great to hear, could keep Perk from concentrating on his job.
“They showed a lot of love,” he told WEEI after the game. “It was a great feeling.”
But during the game, Perk remained focus on completing his job. Not even the perfect reception could get him off track.