Kendrick Perkins claims Kevin Durant did not leave Thunder because of Russell Westbrook
However, former Thunder big man Kendrick Perkins says that that simply isn’t true. While he would not elaborate all that much on the real reasons Durant departed Oklahoma City, he says it was not because of Westbrook:
"KD is my little brother, and let me give you a little insight. KD did not leave OKC because he was tired of playing with Russell Westbrook. … You're asking me if I had a choice, would I have kept KD or kept Russ? I mean obviously, I would've kept KD." — @KendrickPerkins pic.twitter.com/YON1E0ateK
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) April 30, 2019
Perkins then went on to say that the Thunder did not do a great job of making Durant feel wanted, saying that OKC did not make it clear to Durant that he was the face of the franchise.
That definitely comes as a surprise, because you would have figured that Oklahoma City would have done everything in its power to ensure Durant stuck around for the long haul.
Now, to be fair, it’s possible that Perkins does not really know the ins and outs of what actually happened, because he was no longer a member of the Thunder by the time Durant left. However, he seems to have maintained relatively close contact with both Durant and Westbrook, so it’s not like we should just take what he says with a grain of salt. He has some real insight here, so it’s certainly interesting.
In all actuality, Durant obviously saw that Golden State represented a better opportunity to win a championship, so that almost surely had to be at the center of his decision-making process.
But exactly how much “blame” Westbrook deserves for Durant’s exit will probably never be known for sure.