Former NBA player and defensive force Kendrick Perkins is eyeing a return to the NBA. Perkins, 32, last played for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Perkins spoke to Darnell Mayberry and Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman about working towards an NBA return and the rivalry between former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
“I’m still trying to get back in. I’ve been working two-a-days over the last couple of months” Perkins said. “Just been going hard. Got a couple of calls, just a few teams say they want to start trying me out and working me out before the free agency’s over with. So, just trying to get back in and see what it do. One more push.
I feel good. I’m light. Weight down. I been training hard, so I’m just ready to get back to work.
I feel like I fit here. From me walking in the facility earlier (Wednesday), all the love and stuff that I got and then coming here tonight, and then after talking with Sam and Mr. Bennett, you just know that it’s genuine. It ain’t like I got that many options that I can just pick and choose, but I feel like this would be a good place.”
Perkins last played April 13th of 2016 and said he misses the NBA world.
“You miss the camaraderie with your teammates, the competitiveness. I think that’s mainly it right there.”
Perkins spoke about Durant’s return to Oklahoma City for the first time since deciding to leave via free agency and sign with the Golden State Warriors.
“Man, it was crazy. It was different. But at the end of the day, it’s part of it. This was KD’s first time coming back after he made his decision, so you knew it was gonna happen. I ain’t know it was gonna be to that extreme, but, like they say, it’s a thin line between love and hate. So at the end of the day, he made his decision and he knew what was gonna happen when he came back, but he’s all right with it. It happens, and I think he was just ready to get it over with. ”
Perkins admits that he was surprised with Durant’s decision to sign with Golden State last offseason.
“I was. I was surprised. I thought maybe if he would have left, I thought he probably would have ended up back in D.C. or maybe even with the Spurs. That move, it surprised me just like it surprised everybody else. But like Kevin said – when I talked to him, he said he made a decision that made him happy. Obviously the Golden State Warriors must have made him feel wanted, like they wanted him. They must have done a hell of a job recruiting him and he just made a decision for himself. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he be back here in the near future. ”
And about that “rivalry” between Durant and Westbrook? Perkins isn’t buying into it.
“I don’t think it’s a real beef there. I think it’s just more so maybe feathers being ruffled, just feelings being hurt. I don’t think either one of them got hard feelings. I done been around them for going on four, five years – numerous group messages to dinners to card games to whatever – and I know both of them really care about each other” Perkins said.
“And I think more so it’s the outside world that kind of blow it up and keep adding fuel to the fire. If you look back on it, either one of them never commented and said nothing negative about either one of them. I think in due time, they’ll mend. I was just talking to Russ, and Russ don’t have any hard feelings toward KD, and KD feel the same way. So I think in due time, they’ll get back on point where they’re talking again and get that relationship back. ”
Maybe one day Durant and Westbrook, along with Perkins, can team up once again.