Kendrick Perkins is never shy to share his opinion, and one of his main "targets" while making it up the media ranks has been Kevin Durant. The two spent five years together in Oklahoma City, and Perkins called out KD several times for changing his story about why he left. Perk was a guest on the Forgotten Seasons Podcast and shared an insight many didn't consider.
Perkins on why KD left OKC
Perk shared the locker room with a young KD, a player still finding his way and just starting to build his legacy in the NBA. Still, according to Perk, most of the OKC Durant we know was a product of the Thunder, not KD being shy.
“The KD that we seeing right now outpsoken, it's the KD that he's always been the same. But what people have to realize is that the Oklahoma City Thunder was almost trying to mimic the San Antonio Spurs. In San Antonio, those guys are quiet you never heard Tim Duncan or Tony Parker or Manu speak out or lash out at the media. With that being said, while KD was in Oklahoma he really couldn't be Kevin Durant, you know, like because we were being monitored so much.”
Kendrick Perkins, ">Forgotten Seasons
It’s an interesting side to what could be the reason why KD left OKC. The roster had potential, and the team went to the Finals, although they lost to LeBron James. It was rumored that the former league MVP left because of differences with Russell Westbrook. Durant may have felt too restricted in growing his brand and expressing himself more as a player inside and outside the court.
Durant is much more vocal now
The Brooklyn Nets star is now a man of his own. As one of the most opinionated players today, KD is not afraid to clap back to fans or express his thoughts no matter how controversial they may be.
He has also ventured into other business pursuits, which may not have happened had he stayed with OKC. The culture that general manager Sam Presti wants in Oklahoma City, which is similar to San Antonio Spurs, was simply a bad fit. It shows that if the culture worked in Spurs, it would not instantly work elsewhere.
The guy most compared to Tim Duncan, who made the entire Spurs ethos possible, is actually Steph Curry - the guy KD felt threatened by in Golden State. Unlike Duncan, Steph is more open and forthcoming with the media but truly does not care about the spotlight. By leaving Golden State, Durant proved he's not that kind of a person.
Many teams want to be like the Spurs, but fail to recognize the foundational building blocks necessary to do so. You can't just decide to do things the Spurs way if you don't have players who, for example, can't stay off Twitter for more than 30 minutes. It's like trying to play small-ball without a Draymond-like player. You're in for a bad experience.