Kevin Durant and Kendrick Perkins engaged in one interesting Twitter battle on Thursday night.
Before Russell Westbrook was honored by his former team with a tribute video during his return to Oklahoma City on Thursday night, Perkins took to Twitter to congratulate his former teammate. Not only did Perkins praise Westbrook, he said that the veteran point guard is “the best player to have ever put on a Oklahoma City Thunder jersey” and he also called him “Mr. Thunder.”
However, after Boston Celtics personality Marc D’Amico challenged that opinion, saying Westbrook couldn’t make it to the second round of the playoffs without Durant, Perkins shot back that Durant failed to advance past the second round without Westbrook in OKC.
That’s when things started to get real chippy.
Durant responded to his former teammate by noting his meager statistics during the series.
Perkins then started taking shots at Durant’s decision to leave Oklahoma City for the Golden State Warriors during the summer of 2016. That was right after the Thunder had blown a 3-to-1 series lead in the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors.
Durant went on to win two championships with Golden State right after they won 73 games the previous season before he arrived.
Durant, a 31-year-old, 10-time All-Star replied, “Weak is starting at center, playing real minutes with no production. Should’ve worked on your skills as much as I did.”
Durant Still Being Criticized For Signing With Warriors
While Westbrook wasn’t directly involved in this Twitter battle, it’s interesting to see how much venom is still aimed at Durant years after making his decision to leave Oklahoma City.
One would think that time would heal all wounds, but Perkins clearly still thinks poorly of Durant for abandoning Oklahoma City for Golden State.
For that reason, I don’t think we’ll hear Perkins change his stance on who “Mr. Thunder” is between Westbrook and Durant.
Westbrook Receives Standing Ovation in OKC Return
As Westbrook’s Houston Rockets took on the Thunder on Thursday night, there was no doubt about it — Oklahoma City still loves their former MVP.
Unlike the return of Durant to Oklahoma City back during the 2016-17 season — where he was greeted with hostile boos — Thunder fans roared with MVP chants as Westbrook took the floor for the first time as a member of the opposition.
The 31-year-old point guard spent his first 11 seasons in Oklahoma City before being traded to Houston last summer. Westbrook commented on what it was like to be greeted with such a positive reaction by his former home crowd.
Westbrook told Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
Man, some things you can’t put into words, just because I’ve been here so long, so many great memories, great people. Obviously, the best fans in the world, because they come with it, and tonight they came with it.
The organization, Sam [Presti], Mr. [Clay] Bennett, they do an amazing job of just making you feel home. And I felt like I was home.
Westbrook made sure to stress one thing — he doesn’t regret anything about his tenure with the Thunder. He told ESPN:
I don’t regret one thing being here in Oklahoma City. I don’t regret signing back. I don’t regret staying here. I don’t regret anything that I did here. I feel like I left everything out on the floor every single night and did what I could for the city.
There’s no doubt about it — the Oklahoma City home crowd definitely treated Westbrook like “Mr. Thunder.”