Perkins on Kyrie Irving: 'Kyrie's just a different dude'

A. Sherrod Blakely
NBC Sports Boston

Perkins on Kyrie Irving: 'Kyrie's just a different dude' originally appeared on

CHICAGO -- The story with no ending in sight it seems - not soon, anyway - surrounding the Boston Celtics involves the future of Kyrie Irving.

Ex-Celtic Kendrick Perkins, in Chicago as part of the NBA draft combine's pool of assistant coaches, has been outspoken when it comes to his thoughts on Irving's potential return to Boston.

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And Thursday was no different.

I asked him about what could be done differently that could maybe make for a better experience if Irving, an unrestricted free agent on July 1, decides he wants to return to Boston.

"I don't know," Perkins said. "Kyrie's just a different dude. I don't know if he can change. You can't really say he's a young talent; he's a vet now in this league. So, at some point a guy's got to get it.

Perkins added, "It don't seem like … he ain't representing the Celtic pride and I don't think he embraced the situation and the history of the Boston Celtics, the franchise, the historic franchise that he was playing for. At the end of the day, he's going to be Kyrie. Do I see a change? Probably not. He's too old for a guy to be changing if he's stuck in his ways."

Perkins' opinions about the Celtics and the NBA for that matter, have led to an increased amount of exposure for Perkins who spent the bulk of his 14 NBA seasons in Boston with the Celtics and was the starting center for the Celtics' 2008 NBA championship team.

Today he's doing some television work in addition to trying to put in the work to catch the attention of a team looking to add an assistant coach to the mix.

The Celtics have an opening on its staff created when Micah Shrewsberry left to become the associate head coach at Purdue.

Perkins said he spent some time this week talking to various Celtics officials, and has made no secret about wanting to be included in the pool of candidates for the vacant job on the Celtics bench.

Boston has reportedly interviewed J.B. Bickerstaff who most recently was the interim coach of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Perkins knows his strength as an assistant coach would be working with the team's young players, a big reason why he has enjoyed his time thus far as an assistant coach at the combine.

"It's always good to come in and whenever you're able to drop knowledge on young kids trying to fulfill a lifelong dream, it's always a pleasure," Perkins said. "I'm trying to get my feet wet with the coaching and as far as trying to get as much experience as I can."

And the opening on the Celtics bench is something Perkins admits has been on his mind.

"I spoke to them (Celtics) but I didn't say too much," Perkins said. "At the end of the day, I know it's a grind. There's levels to this coaching and steps you have to take in order to get to certain levels. I'm willing to do that. So, right now I'm leaving all options open. Whatever opportunities presents itself that I think are best for me and my family, that's what I'm gonna do. Right now, I want to make sure I do the grind work."

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