OKC Thunder win augmented by entertaining KD-Perkins Twitter war

Kevin Durant #35 and Kendrick Perkins #5 of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kevin Durant #35 and Kendrick Perkins #5 of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

While the OKC Thunder were routing the Rockets, Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Durant got into a twitter war which provided the icing on an unbelievable night.

With Russell Westbrook in town to make his one and only appearance this season at Chesapeake Energy Arena since being traded the energy was high. The OKC Thunder broke tradition by airing a tribute to Westbrook following his introduction. That’s a first as no returning players, even Kevin Durant, who is equally important to the first decade of the franchise got that treatment.

KD’s exit was marred by the fact no one expected his departure, especially to the Warriors so his eventual return wasn’t warmly received.

This past summer when Durant suffered a terrible injury tearing his Achilles tendon and then subsequently left the Warriors to join the Nets it seemed like perhaps the fan base was finally in a place where they could forgive and forget.

Perhaps that feeling was bolstered by the fact the Thunder are well stocked with draft picks and tradeable assets. Moreover, with OKC currently overachieving and firmly entrenched in the playoff picture (for the moment) it sure makes it easier to move on from the past.

As the Thunder were ousting the Rockets in arguably their most impressive win this season, simultaneously a Twitter war broke out between KD and Kendrick Perkins.

This beef between the pair came out of nowhere as Perkins was debatably the most supportive of Durant when former players and fans were bashing him for leaving OKC.

Recalling KD’s infamous MVP speech Perk got perhaps the most shine from the star. Durant broke down discussing their late night phone calls and how Kendrick was the first to tell him he was the MVP.

But, that was not the case on this evening, or perhaps Perk clapped back at KD for him taking things so personally given he’d been so protective of the star all these years.

It all started innocently enough as Perkins was promoting his appearance on SportsCenter and how he would be talking about why Russell Westbrook is the best OKC Thunder player in history (as per his tweet below).

This created some discussion as Marc D’Amico a Celtics writer and analyst weighed in to say Perkins was wrong.

Perkins then laid out his terms for why Russ is the best OKC Thunder player ever. To keep this in context remember Perk isn’t saying Russ is a better player than Kevin – rather that Westbrook’s tenure, accomplishments, and loyalty earned him the spot.


Just the stats themselves do rank Westbrook first although he played with the team longer that’s not what counts when you comparing apples to apples.

Durant may well end up with greater totals over the entirety of his career and I think that’s the point. But this only served to open up a big can of worms and instigate an all-out Twitter war with fans and even the other man in question himself Kevin Durant chiming in.

At this point, the gloves came off between the pair and Perkins dropped the bomb which everyone knows is the sore point with Durant…

The back and forth went on for a while with both slinging mud at each other. Durant shaded Perk for his lack of production. The interesting side of this equation is Perkins wasn’t brought in to score – he was added to bring championship mettle to the team having already won a ring with the Celtics.

Bottom line, if you’re going to go at Durant you need to be prepared for him to clap back. Unlike most superstars, KD doesn’t take things lying down. Opinions are challenged and criticism of his game is defended.

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What makes Durant’s situation stand out is just a few days ago Durant went at some Brooklyn fans who are unhappy with the dispiriting season. In fairness, KD has a point because the team will look entirely different next season with both Kyrie Irving and himself back on the hardwood healthy.

The irony of this is while this Twitter war waged on Westbrook was feasting on the Chesapeake Arena hardwood. And, the OKC Thunder was putting a beat down on the Rockets.


Today (Friday) on NBA The Jump, Kendrick Perkins elaborated on what happened. He apologized to Westbrook for taking away from what should’ve been his moment.

Perk also doubled down on his comments stating when he arrived in OKC the Thunder had never got past the first round and he accepted his role of being a screen setter and helping the team get deeper in the playoffs.

Kendrick felt Durant took the first shot stating he never said Russ is the better overall player, but he is the best OKC Thunder player based on his stats, loyalty, and tenure.

Chauncey Billups tried in vain to get Perkins to recognize it was Marc D’Amico who caused the entire problem but because KD had clapped back at Perkins downplaying his value to the Thunder he wasn’t having it.

Clearly, this situation isn’t going away. To Billups’ point, it’s unfortunate prior teammates are in this type of battle. Then again, like Rachel Nichols said it sure was lit and offered a view behind the curtain unlike fans seldom see.

Next. Thunder annihilate Rockets in Russell Westbrook’s return: player grades. dark

Regardless of where you side in the debate, the public exchange ended up providing the side entertainment for the evening.