|Kendrick Perkins (left) found a safe place to rest his injured toe - sitting next to Ray Allen on the Celtics' bench last night. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)|
Kendrick Perkins is now, unequivocally, unambiguously, officially part of Celtics lore. He joins Pervis Ellison on the short list entitled "Celtics centers who missed games because of injury involving a toe and a piece of furniture." Poor Pervis, who was almost always hurt (resulting in Danny Ainge nicknaming him "Out of Service Pervis"), missed most of a season when a coffee table fell on his foot. (That was the story, anyway, which Pervis and the Celtics resolutely stuck to. It may even be true. We'll have to wait for the Ellison Memoirs.)
Poor Perk missed his first game of the season last night - a 90-78 Celtics' win over the Kings - a couple of days after his bed collapsed on his toe. Perkins was in good spirits after the game, took a number of jokes well, and said he hoped to be able to play tomorrow. "I think he should be able to play [tomorrow] night," Ainge said.
Perkins missed practice Tuesday and coach Doc Rivers said it was because of a sore toe. There was no mention of how Perkins was hurt; players get sore toes all the time. Only a couple of reporters thought to buttonhole Perkins to get to the bottom of the matter and, soon thereafter, his story was sent 'round the world, courtesy of the Associated Press. And it was a doozy.
"I guess whoever put my bed together didn't put it together right when I moved, so one side of my bed fell," he said. "My bed was tilted, so I got out of my bed to go push down on the other side. And when I was about getting ready to push down on the other side, the headboard started coming in. So I tried to push the headboard back so it wouldn't fall over. My foot was under the bed and the other side of the bed fell on my foot."
Geez, you think he got the bed from the Jordan's Furniture store in Cleveland on the Indians Guarantee Plan?
Invariably, when something like this happens, you hearken to freak injuries of the past, such as Sammy Sosa's violent, rib-cracking sneeze, Vince Coleman getting swallowed by a baseball tarp, or the soccer goalie from Spain injuring his foot when he dropped a bottle of aftershave on it. Perkins was joined on the hors de combat list last night by Scot Pollard, who had his own story of woe. He injured his back getting out of his car at
Last night's opponents, the Sacramento Kings, have had a few intriguing moments of their own, some of them even involving injuries (although most involve Bill Russell's brief tenure as coach and his preference for the golf course over the basketball court). Franchise icon Jerry Reynolds didn't need much prompting to come up with a few beauties.
There was Lionel Simmons, Reynolds remembered, who had to miss a few games because of a sore wrist from playing too many video games. There was Kenny Smith, who showed up for a game one night, but couldn't make it out of his car after his knee locked. Reynolds himself, who has done just about everything for the Kings, recalled a night when he passed out while coaching the team against Portland.
"I'd been on this diet, Weight Watchers, I think, for which they gave me a few bucks, very few, and I was having some dizzy spells," Reynolds said. "But I'd sit down and they'd go away and I wouldn't think about it. Well, we're playing Portland one night and I start raising hell with an official and the next thing I know, I start seeing green squiggly things. I passed out. I came to just before the trainer was going to give me mouth-to-mouth. Luckily."
Ainge said he used to cut out newspaper articles when something bizarre happened and give them to his wife.
"There was one where Bob Stanley cut a tendon on his finger taking out the trash," Ainge said. "And another when Jimmy Key broke his ankle when he was changing a lightbulb and fell off a stool. So I'd say to my wife, 'See, taking out the trash and changing a lightbulb can be really dangerous.' "
Did she buy it?
"No. She didn't buy it."
Ray Allen recalled getting his pupils dilated after an eye injury in Detroit and being unable to look up because he would be blinded by the lights in the arena. He played anyway - and had 22 at the half. "I just kept my head down because I couldn't look up," he said. "One of the pupils was fine. The other was so much bigger. It was fine the next day."
Rivers said one of his players in Orlando once missed two games because of a pedicure gone bad. "That was an interesting one," he said. "He literally couldn't play. You just shake your head. You can't scream at him. You just laugh."
He had another miss time when the player slipped on a basketball while in the layup line and sprained his ankle. Now he has his starting center on the shelf because a bed fell on his foot.
"There were too many punch lines," Rivers said, when told of what happened to Perkins. "So I left him all alone on this one."
Peter May can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.