As we’re all perfectly aware, there’s a clear distinction between being co-workers and actual friends. Just because we exchange pleasantries at the water cooler doesn’t mean my black ass will be at your wedding, and vice versa. So while NBA superstar Kevin Durant and former teammate Kendrick Perkins might’ve shared the same jersey in a past life, it’s become painfully obvious that they’re about as close as Ben Carson and the Electric Slide.
For those out of the loop, their lover’s quarrel began—at least publicly—back in January, when Perkins, who retired from the NBA in 2018, had the unmitigated gall—the audacity—to declare Russell Westbrook the greatest player in the history of the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise over Durant.
“In about 30 minutes I’m going to give my opinion on @SportsCenter on why Believe that Russell Westbrook is the best player to have ever put on a Oklahoma City Thunder Jersey!!!” Perk tweeted at the time. “He is MR. THUNDER!!!”
Then to throw salt in the wound, Perkins then went on ESPN’s Sportscenter and declared, “KD went to Golden State and left [the Thunder] for dead. Russell Westbrook said, ‘Uh uh. We’re gonna stay afloat.’”
Durant’s exodus from the Thunder is a highly sensitive subject, so of course, Durantula arose from his slumber to swat the fly buzzing around the room after Perkins then implied that Durant couldn’t carry a team.
Since Perkins conveniently left out the fact that he was a part of that same 2013 playoff team that Durant apparently couldn’t carry, KD was kind enough to remind him.
“Yea our staring center @KendrickPerkins averaged a whopping 2 and 3 during that series,” Durant tweeted. “U played hard tho champ lol”
But you really thought Perkins was about to back down?
“Boy stop you did the weakest move in NBA History!!!” he clapped back. “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 and Durant would eventually squash their beef momentarily, with Perk admitting in April that he went about the situation all wrong.
“I probably should have just took the blow that he delivered and just sent him a text and was like, ‘Bro, I wasn’t coming at you like that,’ and just let it be gone,” Perkins said on the Runnin’ Plays podcast. “Instead of for me, saying, ‘You know what? I’m about to attack you and hit you where it hurt.’ And I did shoot some below-the-belt slugs that I wish I wouldn’t have done. That’s why I made my apology public.”
But all that goodwill has apparently gone to complete shit now that the beef is once again simmering on the stove. With the NBA on the brink of imploding, as there’s a clear divide between players who want to resume playing and those who feel that doing so will distract from the progress being made by the Black Lives Matter movement, Perkins took aim at one of the most outspoken critics of the NBA’s return, NBA star Kyrie Irving.
“Right now he’s confused. He’s showing his lack of leadership,” Perkins said Wednesday on ESPN’s Get Up. “Guess what’s been going on for the last two days in our world? Two people have been lynched in the state of Texas. A young lady was killed in Akron, Ohio, behind a hate crime. And has that been highlighted like it should’ve been? No! Because for the last two days we’ve been talking about Kyrie Irving. So Kyrie, right now you are the distraction!”
Such a strong stance was bound to draw a reaction from NBA players, and Kyrie’s teammate, Wilson Chandler, clapped back with the quickness.
“Ex players turning into suckers right before your eyes on television,” he tweeted.
More importantly, Durant retweeted that same tweet before loading the clip and licking off a shot himself. On Instagram, Durant dismissed Perkins as a “sell-out” then retweeting another tweet of Perkins throwing up an airball.
This then lead to Perkins implying he went easy on Irving and could’ve really let the chopper spray in this since-deleted gem:
Anytime somebody types “HOE SHIT” in caps you know they ain’t playing. And to make it clear that he’s perfectly fine with resuming war with Durant, he made sure to include the phrase “cupcake”—an obvious dig at his ex-teammate —in a subsequent tweet.
Neither has said a word publicly about the matter since everything popped off again Wednesday, but I think it’s safe to say that they won’t be exchanging Christmas presents later this winter.