Kendrick Perkins: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant ‘never really valued each other’
As a former teammate of both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kendrick Perkins would know well the dynamic between the two.
Perkins told Adrian Wojnarowski’s Vertical podcast that the two stars never properly appreciated each other while playing together.
“I think to me, what happened was with Russ and KD, I think they never really valued each other like that should have,” Perkins said, via Brett Dawson of NewsOK. “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.”
Perkins clarified that external factors played a role in hurting things.
“I think what it was was this. Russ actually did value KD as being the player that he is,” Perkins said. “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.”
The deterioration of their relationship does bother Perkins.
“With them not talking right now, that bothers me,” said Perkins. “Because I know both of them, they care for each other and love each other, despite the decision that KD made. With me reading an article saying 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 them not being talking right now, that bothers me personally.”
The relationship between the two stars and now-former teammates is apparently a little bit frosty at the moment. Perhaps Perkins is right. They may regret all this someday.