OKC Thunder: Has Kendrick Perkins ended feud with Kevin Durant?
The Kendrick Perkins/Kevin Durant beef continues, but perhaps Perk has ended the feud with his emotional soliloquy Friday to his friend and former Thunder teammate.
Durant has been testy with Perkins, via social media, since Perk joined ESPN as a frequent contributor to discuss the NBA. Most recently, Durant took exception to Perkins’ criticism of Kyrie Irving, who now is Durant’s Brooklyn Nets teammate and who apparently encouraged NBA players to forego the plan to restart the season, scheduled for a July 30 tipoff in Orlando.
Durant called Perk a “sellout,” among other shots on social media, and Perkins responded Friday on ESPN’s “First Take.”
Perk apparently took the “sellout” moniker to mean that Durant didn’t believe Perk was all-in on the Black Lives Matter movement that has swept across the country in recent weeks.
“KD, my brother, just because I don’t agree with what Kyrie got going on, don’t mean I’m not fighting the same fight you all are fighting,” Perkins said. “I am fighting for African-Americans. I’ve been have. That don’t make me a sellout, because I have a different opinion or disagree with someone else that is going about it a different way.”
Perkins talked about his family’s current struggles in an all-white neighborhood in Greater Houston, and Perkins finished off his three-minute, 16-second response by reminding Durant of their relationship.
“So don’t tell me nothing about being a sellout, because that ain’t even for me or you,” Perkins said. “Let me remind you of something, the same Sellout that’s sitting right here. I remember this day like it was yesterday. May 8, 2011. Mother’s Day. You and I, Memphis, Tennessee, going through personal problems.
“And guess what? You came to my room, we vented, we cried together, we cried some more, vented some more. We didn’t leave that room until we confided, and we left out of there, it was like, you know, we glad we had each other to lean on.
“So KD, for you to call your brother a sellout, man, hey, come on, Dog. You know what my love is and what my heart is for you. By the way, my wife, Vanity Perkins, your sister, who you used to call and she used to make plates of those oxtails, with that good macaroni and cheese and cornbread? She’s still got love for you today.
“You remember coming to my house, my oldest two sons, you used to walk through the door, and they would say, ‘What’s up, Uncle KD?’, and you would play-fight with them? They still have love for you today.
“This same sellout, this brother sitting right here, on this ESPN platform, talking to you, I still love you to this day, my brother, and I’m going to leave it at that.”
On ESPN’s “Get Up” show Wednesday morning, Perkins criticized Irving’s efforts to torpedo the Orlando plan.
"If you take Kyrie Irving's brain and put it in a bird right now, guess what that bird is gonna do? It's gonna fly backwards," Perkins said. “Kyrie, right now, is confused. He's showing his lack of leadership."
Later that day, via social media, Durant referred to Perkins as “Sell out.” And Durant retweeted his Nets teammate Wilson Chandler, who in reference to Perkins wrote “Ex players turning into suckers right before your eyes on television.”
And then Durant retweeted an unfavorable video from Perkins playing for the Thunder against the Lakers.
In January, Perkins appeared on ESPN and promoted his belief that Russell Westbrook, not Durant, was the best player to wear a Thunder jersey. Durant responded by reciting some of Perkins’ statistics: “Our starting center … averaged a whopping 2 and 3 during that series.”
Perkins turned up the heat, tweeting: “Boy stop you did the weakest move in NBA History!!! Up on a team 3-1 in the western conference finals and then go join them the following season?! Heart of Champion right there”
Perkins later apologized and admitted he had hit below the belt.
Perkins this week said of Irving, “Right now you are the distraction. You are the distractor … it’s crazy to me because you come out and you do something simply without talking to president Chris Paul or consulting with Michele Roberts … ‘Let’s sit out without a plan.’ It makes zero sense and I totally disagree.”
Perkins on Friday defended his role in the protest movement:
“I actually applaud anybody that’s fighting the fight right now in America. So that’s the first thing first.
“Second of all, listen here, you don’t know what I’m going through in my personal career, fighting the fight. I live in a million-dollar community ... I’m the only African-American family living in this community. My wife and I have to fight a fight with our home association and neighbors, through emails, so much so that we’re not even comfortable with having our kids go outside without supervision.
“You don’t know what I’m doing as far as fighting the fight, when I have to drive my oldest son to middle school, to go to his workouts, and I pull up, and there’s 70 kids out there, and there’s only two African-Americans, and he’s one of ‘em. And I gotta stay out there to make sure he’s OK, because just four days ago, two miles away from my house, they found an African-American teenager hung dead at an elementary school.
“And I’ve been on multiple platforms. I’ve used my social media to speak out since this first started.”