Former NBA Champion Kendrick Perkins isn't one to mince words. And Kevin Durant - who he was teammates with on the Oklahoma City Thunder for four-and-a-half seasons - isn't shy about responding to critics on social media. Those two dynamics intersected Thursday night.
Thursday, Russell Westbrook returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a visitor. While he dropped 34 points in his return to the place that he spent the first 11 seasons of his career, his new team, the Houston Rockets, lost the game, 113-92.
The biggest story from Westbrook's return has nothing to do with the game, though.
Perkins, a regular contributor to RADIO.COM Sports original Scal & Pals, appeared on SportsCenter Thursday, and teased his appearance by saying that he believes that Westbrook, not Durant, is the greatest player in the franchise's history:
Perkins then pushed back against a Twitter user that suggested that Durant is the greatest player in the history of the franchise. Durant, also a Twitter user, joined the exchange:
After the Golden State Warriors overcame a 3-1 deficit in the 2015-16 Western Conference Finals to defeat Durant's Thunder, he became a free agent. Ultimately, Durant joined the Warriors, who had gone an NBA record 73-9 the prior regular season, and he won two championships in four seasons with the team. There hasn't been a universal softening on Durant's legacy, though, and he still seems to be irritated by that:
Friday morning, Perkins appeared on Scal & Pals to voice his side of the story.
"I don't have a filter," Perkins said. "So what I do, is I strike back. Boy, stop playing with me. You did the weakest move in NBA history, up 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals and then you go join them the following season."
So why does Durant even care? Both Brian Scalabrine and Steve Ceruti both suggested that even after winning two titles with Golden State, Durant hasn't come to grips with how is exit from Oklahoma City has been perceived.
"That was my whole point - why do you even care? First of all, you left that organization for dead. You thought when you left that organization that it would go to nothing. And Russell Westbrook kept that organization afloat...he never missed the playoffs...he always kept them in the middle of the hunt...he did what he was supposed to do...he won the MVP...he did all types of things. So, like I said, my whole argument wasn't to shoot a slug at KD, my whole argument was to rightfully praise Russell Westbrook for what he deserves."
Despite tearing his achilles in the 2018-19 NBA Finals, Durant cashed in last summer, signing a four-year/$164.25 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets. The former NBA MVP will miss the entire 2019-20 season rehabbing from the injury, but has his sights set on winning an NBA title away from Golden State. Perhaps that will allow him to find the inner peace that he thought he would get by winning his first NBA title.