Earlier this week, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr sounded off on the recent trade that sent former New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, as he remarked that the fact Davis asked to be traded instead of waiting until his contract expired made the deal “bad for the league.” This prompted a response from retired NBA center and ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins, who launched a series of tweets that appeared to accuse Kerr of making hypocritical comments in the light of similar trades and free-agent signings, including the Warriors’ own acquisition of Kevin Durant in the summer of 2016.
As documented by USA Today’s For the Win, Perkins took to Twitter on Wednesday and Thursday and shared several “fiery” posts where he maintained that Davis did the right thing by allowing the Pelicans to trade him instead of having him walk as a free agent in the summer of 2020 while getting nothing in return. In one of his first few tweets, he accused Kerr of having an ulterior motive by not mentioning Paul George’s recent trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Los Angeles Clippers.
“I wonder why @SteveKerr didn’t say anything about Paul George forcing his way outta of OKC? I know why because [Pelicans head coach] Alvin Gentry is his close friend! Hidden Agendas!!! SMH”
Perkins also brought up the deal that sent Chris Paul to the Thunder, wondering why Kerr didn’t have any “sympathy” for the point guard after the Houston Rockets decided to trade him despite publicly stating they had no plans of doing so.
"That’s a real problem that the league has to address."
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) July 24, 2019
Regarding the Durant signing from three summers ago, Perkins said that Kerr had a lot of nerve to talk negatively about other teams’ transactions while disregarding his own team’s controversial moves. The former NBA journeyman, who won an NBA championship for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, sarcastically remarked that Durant’s 2016 acquisition must have been “great for the league.”
Furthermore, Perkins seemed to insinuate that Kerr is overrated as a head coach, saying in separate tweets that his predecessor, Mark Jackson, built the Warriors’ championship dynasty and that current Sacramento Kings coach Luke Walton was successful while temporarily filling in for Kerr as Golden State’s interim head coach midway through the 2015-16 season.
“Luke Walton went 20-1 with the same team when Kerr was out so don’t come telling me how great of a Coach Kerr is!” Perkins tweeted. “Please Stop it!”
One day after the aforementioned tweets, Perkins returned to Twitter on Thursday morning, reiterating that players such as Davis are giving their former teams “a chance to get back assets” through their public trade requests.
Kendrick Perkins wasn’t the only person or publication to disagree with Steve Kerr’s “bad for the league” assessment of the Anthony Davis trade. On Thursday, Sports Illustrated’s Rohan Nadkarni published an op-ed that called the coach out for reinforcing a “blatantly unfair” double standard where teams are praised as “smart” for making good trades and players are called “selfish” for seeking greener pastures.
Likewise, For the Win opined that the Davis trade was still a “net positive” for the NBA despite Kerr’s criticism. The outlet backed this up by saying that the Pelicans did what they could to prevent Davis from leaving midway through the 2018-19 season, but nonetheless ended up with a solid young core of players from the Lakers when they ultimately agreed to trade him to Los Angeles last month.