Kevin Durant left the NBA world dumbfounded Thursday afternoon after requesting a trade from the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday during the start of free agency. Moments later, Kendrick Perkins praised the star’s loyalty.
“All I wanna say is how proud I am of Kevin Durant,” Perkins announced on ESPN. “Since him and Kyrie arrived in Brooklyn, he has been the most reliable, he has been the most loyal when it comes down to … showing up to work to this organization.”
Fans on Twitter were quick to voice their opinions on Perkins’ hot take.
“That’s a take,” one user commented, while another mockingly tweeted, “KD is a hero for showing up to work.”
Loyal is not the word most would currently use to describe Durant, whose shocking request to leave the Nets comes with four years and $194 million still left on his contract. Nevertheless, Perkins commended the 33-year-old for not only being faithful to his team, but also his teammate.
“Durant has had Kyrie Irving’s back throughout this whole entire time,” Perkins said. “Irving has been a guy that you don’t know what he’s thinking, you don’t know what he’s about to do, a guy that you can somewhat say you cannot trust. And I’m so happy that KD finally had the guts to go out there and make a decision for himself and say, ‘You know what, I don’t need this.’”
Thursday’s theatrics are not the first time Durant’s loyalty has come into question. After spending the first eight seasons of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the 6-foot-10 forward fled to join the Golden State Warriors — a move many critics called traitorous. Durant, however, would disagree.
“Ain’t no such thing [as loyalty],” Durant said in a 2017 interview with Bleacher Report. “You see disloyalty in different ways, but that’s one of the most underrated parts of the game. We scream loyalty, but we don’t expect it from the people writing the checks because they’re writing the checks.”
It seems Durant’s stance on loyalty hasn’t changed since then.