Warriors

Warriors

Editor's Note: The Runnin' Plays Podcast with Kendrick Perkins will be released on Tuesday, April 28. 

Former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Durant have endured a rocky relationship over the past several months. Most notably, the two engaged in a Twitter back-and-forth in January stemming from Perkins' declaration that Russell Westbrook was the best player in Thunder history. 

Now, Perkins says he wishes he took a different approach in the exchange, while also stating that Durant is the best player in the history of the Warriors. 

"If I could have handled it any other way, I would have," Perkins told the Runnin' Plays Podcast, which will release Tuesday. "I would have took a different approach. I wouldn't have fired back at him."

The schism started when Perkins, who played with Westbrook and Durant in Oklahoma City from 2011-2015, tweeted that Westbrook, not Durant, was the greatest player in Thunder history when Westbrook first returned to Oklahoma City as a member of the Houston Rockets.

Durant responded and criticized Perkins' play in the postseason, prompting the former big man to call Durant's decision to sign with the Warriors in 2016 the "weakest move in NBA history."

In hindsight, Perkins said he would've done things differently if given the chance. 

"I wouldn't have responded," Perkins admitted. "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. 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," said Perkins, who apologized the next day on ESPN's "The Jump."

"Because I'm not afraid. I ain't afraid to man up, this is what it is. At the end of the day, I'm not going to text you on the side and let the public think that me and you still beefing. No, I'm going to text you that I apologize, and I'm going to tweet that to you and tell you that I apologize, bro. Serious. And I'm okay with it."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]
 

Durant didn't take the apology in stride publically, instead expressing his disappointment in Perkins on Showtime's "All the Smoke" Podcast. 

"Russell going back to Oklahoma City was a great thing, but you knew that you saying, 'I'm gonna announce why Russell is the greatest Thunder player ever,' you knew that was a divisive statement," Durant said. "You knew that people would kinda be like, 'Oh, that's a shot at KD.' You know that, so my whole thing is you don't have to do that. In order for you to praise Russell, you don't gotta s--t on me.

"Because that's what the fans and that's what the media in Oklahoma City kind of made their money off of the last four years is s--tting on me. Perk, you're just playing into that because you want a job and you want some notoriety in your profession, but we were friends before this. ... So why are you trying to use that tactic against one of your so-called brothers?"

Perkins also gave insight as to why he chose Westbrook over Durant in his Thunder rankings, saying there's a distinction between "greatest" and "best." He used the same distinction while stating Durant's place in Golden State lore. 

"It's just like if you talk about the Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry is the greatest Golden State Warrior of all time. You talk about the Toronto Raptors. Kyle Lowry is the greatest Raptor of all time. Does that mean that they're the best player that ever came through?

"No. We all know that KD is the best player, in my opinion, to wear a Warriors jersey. We all know that KD was the best Thunder to wear a Thunder jersey." 

 

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By the end of the exchange, Perkins said that while Durant might have changed over the years, he and KD have no ill will towards each other.

"KD is who he is, man. He's grown into the man that he wants to be, and I just have to accept it," Perkins said. "It's just a different KD from what I knew when we was in Oklahoma City and he used to be under my wing all the time. So at the end of the day, I just got to accept who the man and roll with. That's who he is, and I got to love him for who he is."

"At the end of the day, all I was doing was giving Russell Westbrook his due," he added. "That was his day, I wasn't shooting no slug at KD. But that would be always my little brother, I always got love for KD."