Off the Court: Pelicans center Kendrick Perkins

New Orleans center Kendrick Perkins is the most experienced member of the Pelicans’ roster, the only veteran player on the squad in his 30s. The Beaumont, Texas, native is now working closer to his hometown than he’s ever been since coming to the NBA directly from high school, a dozen years ago. Perkins spoke to Pelicans.com about his background and some of his interests away from basketball:

Best moment as an athlete: “Winning the NBA championship in 2008.”

How he chose his current uniform number of 5: “The number 5 was one of my favorite numbers growing up. There isn’t really anything specific about it.”

One thing fans might be surprised to know about him: “I can bowl a little bit. My career high is 225, which is pretty solid.”

Favorite thing about New Orleans: “The food, the people are really friendly. I could go on, but I love the whole down South feel. The Creole food, the crawfish and there are all kinds of stuff going on.”

Pregame ritual: “I just do the same thing every shootaround. I eat the same thing – some type of pasta. I take a nap around the same time, go to the arena around the same time. Everything I do is the same.”

First job: “I used to work at a meat market. I cut meat when I was 15.”

Favorite athletes as a kid: “Hakeem Olajuwon, Barry Sanders, Bo Jackson. You had to like Bo Jackson if you played Tecmo Bowl. I was a Rockets fan growing up, during the time when they were winning championships, with the ‘Clutch City’ teams. So it was a cool time and pretty exciting.”

What he’d be doing if he weren’t an NBA player: “Probably a police officer. I could see myself being a big, grumpy policeman. Eating donuts and drinking coffee.”

Closest friends currently playing on other NBA teams or in other pro sports: “Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs is my wife’s cousin, so I’m real close with him. I’m real cool with Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Durant, LeBron James. We all have a good relationship.”

Favorite type of music: “I mix it up. I like the old school. I play 90s R&B a lot, when I’m by myself. I listen to Future a little bit, but I’m mostly into Jay-Z.”

Favorite TV shows of all time: “Martin takes the cake. Also The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

Favorite movies of all time: “Apocalypto is a great movie. Coming to America. All of the Friday movies.”

Favorite website: “Just Google, because you can find whatever you’re looking for there.”