Kendrick Perkins explains how he knew Kevin Durant would sign with Nets, spurring his NBA Insider career

Alex Reimer
July 18, 2019 - 12:39 pm
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Upstart NBA talking head Kendrick Perkins was one of the first people who guaranteed Kevin Durant would sign with the Nets in free agency. Nine days before the process began, Perkins declared on ESPN’s “The Jump” Durant would wind up in Brooklyn. 

While Durant never explicitly told his ex-teammate about his free agent plans, Perkins pieced together the clues. It was a masterclass in fact-finding that naive college students pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn in overpriced journalism courses across this great nation.

“Me and KD is close friends,” Perkins told the Ringer’s Bryan Curtis in an outstanding profile about his rise to the NBA analyst desk. “But I never asked him anything about what decision he was making. … I just had to put all the pieces together.”

Perkins tells Curtis that Durant told him months ago “Brooklyn is a pretty good organization,” which stuck with the big man. Perkins is in regular contact with Durant, with whom he struck up a bond in Oklahoma City. Perkins has used friendships from his playing days to break stories this offseason, such as when he was the first person to surface Rajon Rondo was re-signing with the Lakers. 

Appropriately, Perkins called it a “Perk Bomb.”

Before his TV hits on ESPN and FS1, Perkins says he will call the players about whom he’s opining, in the interest of fairness and getting the whole story. 

“I take a whole different approach than what other guys do,” Perkins told Curtis. “When I go on the air, I’m speaking facts. I’m not speaking just off the top of my head.”

With that said, it’s not surprising Perkins is being courted by ESPN and Fox Sports for a full-time NBA analyst role. Ironically, just months after he failed to sign with a team for his 15th season, Big Perk might wind up being one of the big winners of free agency. 

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