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Kendrick Perkins on Russell Westbrook beef — ”I’m actually working on getting this relationship back”

Russell Westbrook and his family took it personally when Kendrick Perkins said the Lakers need to trade him.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and center Kendrick Perkins

Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins

Kendrick Perkins revealed Russell Westbrook is no longer talking to him after he claimed the L.A. Lakers should trade him over Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

Perkins vs. Westbrook

Perk and Brodie played together in Oklahoma City for several years and went to the NBA finals. Now, the bond that they shared appears to be on the rocks. Perkins is currently an analyst for ESPN, and part of his job is to air his thoughts on players and teams. Naturally, he’s bound to say things that won't sit well with the fans or his friends. So when he chose Brodie as the player that the Lakers should get rid of over James and Davis, the cracks in his friendship with his former starting guard started to show.

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I’m actually working on getting my relationship back with one of my brothers, who was very, very upset, in Russell Westbrook. You know, I defended Russell Westbrook for years. And, this year, he struggled. It was a topic that came up on ‘First Take’. They asked me, out of the big three on the Lakers [LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Westbrook], which one would you trade?” said Perkins to Andrew Marchand.

Perk answered that L.A. wouldn’t trade LeBron or AD, but his answer did not sit well with Russell’s wife, Nina. Unknown to fans, Westbrook’s addition to the Lakers roster was a blessing to his family because he could finally be home with them all the time. Trading Brodie away means spending months away with his family, which probably prompted the strong response from Mrs. Westbrook.

Teammates going at each other

There’s been a recent trend in the NBA that former teammates seemingly burn bridges with each other. There’s Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James and Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, among others. While a lot of these were blown out of proportion by the media, it always catches the attention of basketball fans because it pictures these players as human beings that tend to get hurt, say nasty things to their teammates, and cut off ties.

While Perkins’ relationship with Brodie may seem at best at a professional level only, Kendrick admitted he reached out to Westbrook’s family to explain. He has not received any replies yet. As an analyst, he gets paid to call a spade a spade. Naming Russell as someone the Lakers need to get rid of is a sentiment shared by many fans. It hurts if you’re his family, but that’s the reality. The front office will not move AD and LeBron, so the next logical choice would be Westbrook. 

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