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Kendrick Perkins, NBA officials and how you know ‘Perk’s back’ for real

Memo to Kendrick Perkins [1]: While you were gone from the NBA – impressively rehabbing your right knee – the league decided to give more power to the referees that officiate NBA games.

During their annual meeting last fall in Jersey City, N.J., the league’s officials, in conjunction with the league, announced new guidelines for technical fouls, including T’ing up any and all “overt” player reactions to calls.

Just because we’re here to help, here’s what NBA officials are on the lookout for in determining whether a player should be “T’d” up:

– Running directly at an official to complain about a call.

– Excessive inquiries about a call, even in a civilized tone.

– Players making aggressive gestures, such as air punches, anywhere on the court.

– Demonstrative disagreement, such as when a player incredulously raises his hands, or smacks his own arm to demonstrate how he was fouled.

This season, refs have also been instructed to consider technicals on players who use body language to question or demonstrate displeasure. Additionally, officials can also consider techs on players who “take the long path to the official,” i.e., walking across the court to make their case.

So, what would a return to NBA game action be without Perk testing out those new limits?

He did just that in the first half when he was called for a personal foul and raised his arms and scowled that trademark “Perk Scowl”. But apparently, he mellowed during physical therapy. He stopped short of getting a tech. Last season, Perk was called for seven technicals in the playoffs alone, but the second one in Game 5 against the Magic in the Eastern Conference finals was rescinded by the league, thus he avoided suspension.

If a player accumulates 16 in a regular season, he draws an automatic one-game suspension. Perk has a long way to go to approach that.

‘€œHe’€™s going to get a tech soon,” coach Doc Rivers [2] smiled and laughed after Tuesday’s win over Cleveland. “Yeah, we’ll see I think because he started so late he can’€™t get to the number. So I think we’€™re safe there because at the end of the day Perk’€™s going to be Perk. I mean, he almost ran after the guy the one time. And I was thinking, ‘€˜You’€™ve got to be kidding me. Perk’€™s back.’€™ That’€™s the whole bench; when he did it the bench started laughing, saying ‘€˜Perk’€™s back.’€™ I’€™m thinking we have a cushion.’€

Captain Paul Pierce [3] was just happy to have his big man down on the low blocks again for the first time this season.

“You saw the lift he got from the crowd when he stepped out there,” Pierce said. “It’s good to have the big fella back just to give us more depth back at that position. It just seems like with our bigs, you don’t know who’s going to be out there but it is good to have him back, definitely. I thought he really played well for the time he’s been out. In the time he played, he really played solid.”

Much of what the crowd and his teammates see in Perkins when they see that fire is a hard work ethic and a desperate desire to win.

‘€œListen, there’€™s people in the crowd that work hard every day, blue collar, and Perk identifies with all those people,” Rivers said. “If you are a guy that works 9-5, you’€™ve got to love Perk because that’€™s who he is.’€

Still, Perkins realizes that he won’t officially be considered all the way back until that first time an official makes the “T” sign toward the scorer’s table and points to No. 43. He almost did Tuesday.

“I was trying to get a tech to show everybody I was back,” Perkins said in his most sincere Texas drawl. “But it’s cool, it’s cool.”

The NBA and its officials are cool with that, too.