When Doc arrived, Perk began to blossom.
When the Celtics came away from the 2003 draft with a big high school kid named Kendrick Perkins, the needle barely moved.
When Perk's defensive development helped the C's to a championship not quite five years later, everyone knew who he was.
Perk, drafted 27th overall by Memphis and traded to Boston along with Marcus Banks for Dahntay Jones and Troy Bell, was a project, to be sure. He played a total of 35 minutes over 10 games in his rookie season under Jim O'Brien and John Carroll. When Doc Rivers arrived the next season, Perk's development really began.
In each of the next six seasons, Perk's minutes per game increased and with that, so did his scoring, rebounding and shot blocking. He also turned himself into a solid, mid-range jump shooter and heavily improved his shooting percentage starting in the title year of 2007.
He shot 61.5 percent that season, 57.7 percent in '08-'09 and 60.2 percent in '09-'10. And although he never averaged double-digit rebounds and only got to 10-plus points per game once, his defense, toughness and time spent learning from Kevin Garnett made up for the smallish numbers.
Perk was a huge part of not only that title team but the 2010 squad that came within one quarter and one blown out knee of his from winning another. When he was traded to Oklahoma City at the 2011 deadline, the deal sunk the Celts season.
How many role players can claim that kind of importance? Not many.