Kendrick Perkins on Westbrook, Durant: ‘They Never Really Valued Each Other’

Kendrick Perkins on Westbrook, Durant: ‘They Never Really Valued Each Other’

Kendrick Perkins joined Adrian Wojnarowski on The Vertical Podcast on Friday and had a few interesting things to say about his tenure with the Thunder, the Russell Westbrook/Kevin Durant dynamic, and more. Listen to the podcast below:

Listen to the podcast below:

On Westbrook and Durant’s coexistence in Oklahoma City:

“I think to me, what happened was with Russ and KD, I think they never really valued each other like that should have. And not saying that they didn’t value as, like, didn’t like each other. What I’m talking about is, I don’t think they ever realized and said, hey – I don’t think Russ ever realized and said, ‘Hey, man, I got Kevin Durant on my side. We could take over this league.’ And I never thought KD did vice versa. He never said, ‘Hey, I got Russell Westbrook on my side.’ You got two of the top five players in the NBA on the same team. And I just think that they never valued each other, and trust me – I’m telling you this right now – when they think about this 10 years later, they’re gonna regret that. They’re gonna regret that they didn’t value each other the way that they should have. And I’m talking about both of them. And I ain’t saying they didn’t like each other, because it wasn’t none of that. I mean, we all played cards, they laughed and joked, we all had conversation. We had a group text going about Redskin and Cowboys football, because it was all good.”

On outside forces getting in the way:

“Russ actually did value KD as being the player that he is. But what I had to explain – and I explained it to KD – is that what you have to understand about Russ is that Russ, at the time, he wasn’t getting the credit of being on the same level as KD, but he had the potential. The whole thing was is that, I thought out of all that, it never really came down to those two guys that got in the way of each other. It always was the outside that got in the way of both of them…”

“It was always the outside [creating the beef]. It was always the controversy of whose team it was. Why it can’t just be both of y’all team? How about Russ go for 50 one night and you go for 60 the next night? How about it just be both of y’all team? And the thing was, at the time, KD was already probably a two-time All-Star, the No. 1 draft pick, while Russ, when I first got there, was still putting his name out there. And then, all of a sudden, Russ caught up to KD and they was both on the same level as far as just being up there as the elite icons of the league. I just think that they will have some type of regrets in the next 10 years or when they’re done about that they could have handled it better when they was together.”

On how Kevin Durant handled his free agency:

“My whole thing is that—and this was the thing—okay, it’s cool that KD, you a man, you decide the decision you want to make. But at the end of the day, it’s how you go about it. You don’t send Russ a text and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to the Warriors.’ No, you do like LeBron James did when he left Miami. He went down and he sat and had dinner with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to tell them that he was leaving, that he was going to sign with Cleveland. That’s what you do. It carries a long way. It don’t take you nothing to call Nick Collison and Russell Westbrook and go and sit down and have a conversation with them and say, ‘Hey guys, look, it’s been fun. I still love y’all like my brothers, but I’m going to Golden State.’…It would have been hard for him to look Nick and Russ in the eyes, because if they would have sat down at a lunch table, it would have been the same thing that happened with DeAndre Jordan. It’s easier to text and be done with it than actually sit down face to face and actually look your friend and your brother in the eyes that you done went to war with for six years. It’s a lot harder and it make your decision a lot harder.”

On getting Russ and KD together to talk again:

“With them not talking right now, that bothers me. Because I know both of them, they love each other and care for each other despite the decision that KD made. With me reading an article and seeing that they haven’t talked to each other, that bothers me. Because I know that their relationship off the court and on the court had grew way past that. So for them not to be talking right now, that bothers me personally. And I haven’t did it yet, but I’m thinking in a few that I’m going to put both of them in a group message.”


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