More than two weeks ago, ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins engaged in an intense war of words with his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Kevin Durant, over a variety of issues related to their respective pro basketball careers. But with the untimely death of Kobe Bryant hanging over the heads of many of the players the Los Angeles Lakers legend teamed with and competed against, the retired NBA big man reached out to Durant on Sunday to apologize for his recent remarks.
“Just wanted to tell you I Love you my brother and whatever I did to hurt you I’m sorry bro and hope you forgive me!!! I love you bro real Talk!” Perkins tweeted on Sunday, shortly after Bryant’s death was first reported, as quoted by Fox Sports.
A few hours after that post, Perkins returned to Twitter to explain why he decided to make amends with Durant. The former NBA player said that Bryant would have likely wanted him and the Brooklyn Nets forward to forget their differences and focus on the fact that his oldest daughter, Gianna, was among those who also died in Sunday afternoon’s helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
“My new motto with everything is, What Would Kobe do? He’d want us to focus more on the loss of his daughter. He’d want us to get past differences with our brothers and move on. He’d never want the game to be cancelled or be stopped. He’d want us to keep going!”
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) January 10, 2020
Earlier this month, CBS Sports recapped the social media feud between Perkins and Durant, noting that the beef started when the ESPN analyst wanted to emphasize that point guard Russell Westbrook — who now plays for the Houston Rockets — was the greatest player in Thunder history. After Durant responded by pointing out Perkins’ mediocre stats during a playoff series Oklahoma City lost without Westbrook, his ex-Thunder teammate fired back by calling his decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors as a free agent in the summer of 2016 the “weakest move” in NBA history.
Following that comment, Durant tweeted that Perkins played “real minutes with no production” during his time in Oklahoma City.
As further highlighted by CBS Sports, that wasn’t the first time the two men seemed to feud with each other despite normally being close friends. During the 2018 NBA Finals, Perkins — then playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers — flashed Durant the middle finger while the then-Warriors superstar was being interviewed by reporters.
As of this writing, Durant has yet to respond to Perkins’ apology on Twitter, nor has he commented on Bryant’s passing.