Called it!! The moment KD & Kyrie signed for Brooklyn, I’ve been waiting for this moment. Granted, I did not expect it to be over the return to play after a global pandemic. My prediction was more in the line of a reporter asking a reasonable question. KD and Kyrie feuding with Kendrick Perkins is much more.
For those living under a rock – last week, Kyrie organized a conference call with up to 100 players participating and made an “impassioned plea” for everyone to sit out the games in Orlando as an act of support to the Black Lives Matter movement. After that, Kendrick Perkins called Kyrie out on ESPN, saying he should stop talking about action and do something.
Yesterday morning on Get Up, Perkins expanded his criticism. He pointed out that as the VP of the NBPA (players union), Kyrie’s been very involved in negotiating the plan for the return in Orlando and didn’t mention his reservations to anyone. More so, Kyrie was trying to get approval to go to Orlando and be with the Nets despite the fact he is injured and will not be playing. Perkins implied he started to talk about sitting out once the league told Kyrie he couldn’t go to Orlando. Not only that, but according to Perkins, Irving did it without consulting with NBPA president Chris Paul or executive director Michelle Roberts.
“Kyrie right now, you are the distraction, you are the distractor. It’s crazy to me because you come out and you do something separately, without talking to president Chris Paul or consulting with Michelle Roberts. … ‘Let’s sit out without a plan.‘ It makes zero sense, and I disagree.”Kendrick Perkins, Get Up
This is where KD jumped in to help his teammate. Eloquent and mature as always, KD wrote a comment under this quote – “Sell out.” We do have to acknowledge he did it from his account, not a burner. Durant didn’t feel the need to elevate the conversation to the level of arguments or explanations, and per his request, I won’t try and speculate on what he meant by the comment.
To remind you, Perk and KD had their own thing earlier this year when Perkins made the case Russell Westbrook is the greatest OKC player ever. KD, who doesn’t care what people think and just wants to hoop, felt he was being disrespected (a shocking turn of events, I know).
Perk later said he regrets escalating the disagreement and that he wished he texted KD privately and told him he means no disrespect. Well, Perk didn’t take his advice yesterday. After KD’s “Sell out” comment, Perk tweeted this.
Perkins quickly deleted the tweet, but yet again, the internet is undefeated, and the screenshot will live forever. He apologized for the tweet but reiterated there’s a lot he didn’t share about the conference calls that wouldn’t bode well for Kyrie.
That’s all she wrote for now. KD (and other Nets teammates) pitching in with comments didn’t help or contribute in any way. When it comes to Kyrie, his past makes what Perkins said believable. Given the way he left Cleveland, left Boston, believed the Earth is flat for a while, hates the business of basketball but makes Uncle Drew and other commercials – I tend to believe Kyrie said nothing for weeks and then pulled a 180 after the NBA told him he couldn’t go to Orlando. That would be irresponsible, immature, and counter-productive.
More importantly, we shouldn’t automatically imply that all players who are contemplating sitting out don’t have other, more legitimate, reasons, and explanations. I believe the best way forward is for players to play, make a public stand during their time in Orlando, and make as much money possible to support the causes they believe in. If some decide not to show up, the most important thing is that the players remain united in the fight for equality, and for the upcoming CBA negotiations.
The only thing Perkins, Kyrie, and KD demonstrated is that communicating in 140 characters limits the quality of the conversation. Who could’ve seen that one coming?