The Kevin Durant Injury and What It Means for Kendrick Perkins

Oklahoma City Thunder Kendrick Perkins t

With word of Kevin Durant’s injury sending shockwaves through the NBA landscape, experts and journalists have banned together to declare Russell Westbrook as the man who will step up to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder. While other respected outlets can have their opinions, our experts see a different man as the leader of this Durant-less Oklahoma City squad. That man is Kendrick Perkins.

Jason Gallagher

The news of Kevin Durant’s injury hit us all like a tidal wave of hurt. It was yet another example of life giving us the ‘suck it’ sign in the form of two middle fingers while tongue kissing our girlfriends. With the frequency of her devious games, I’ve learned to counter life’s blows by finding a silver lining in everything, which I’ve found to be quite useful. Like when my dog died of old age I thought, “Now I can learn to live life alone without the love of a friend.”  This practice was shown me that horrible news means nothing more than the birth of great opportunity.

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In the case of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the silver lining lies in the only silverback – Kendrick Perkins. For the longest time we’ve been forced to see Perkins share the spotlight with Durant – playing Robin / Alfred / Street Thug #4 to KD’s Batman. The Durant/Perkins tandem has always been a beautiful thing but let’s be honest… we’ve all wondered what this team would look like if it belonged to Kendrick Perkins and ONLY Kendrick Perkins.  At last the day of the Perk is upon us.


Now let’s take a look at some #RawNumbers that show Perkins’ production with Durant on and off the court.

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Notice how Perkins took 8 shots in the 30 minutes he played without Durant this year, which is a much higher percentage than the amount of shots taken with Durant on the floor (185 shots in 1176 minutes). Also, is it a coincidence that Perkins’ free throw percentage went up when Durant was on the bench? Probably… not.

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This is interesting. Perkins deferred so much to Durant there aren’t even rows for shots beyond 35-40+ feet. Now that Durant is sidelined, the possibilities for these missing rows are endless.

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If  you’re still confused…


Perkins has a tremendous opportunity to show the world that he is worthy of being a considered a top / average / existing player in this league. So while we grieve for Durant, let us not forget the gift given to us all… The Living Perk God.

John Sabine

With Kevin Durant missingthe start of the regular season due to a Jones fracture, his absence has given an opportunity for another Thunder player to step up. It should NOT come as a shock that that player is KENDRICK PERKINS.

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With Durant healing, this is a perfect time for Perk to blossom into the Thunder player he was destined to be. Last year, Perkins averaged 3.4 points while Durant averaged a career high 32 pts per game. As impressive as Durant was, have we considered that all those KD points came at the price of some PERK BUCKETS? Still, Perkins was able to impact the game in enormous ways with his toughness and championship attitude that even an amnesty provision couldn’t handle.

Finally we get see the two man game between Russ and Perk. Finally Perk can take control of the huddle and preach Ubuntu. Finally we’ll have a chance to see Perk command the double team and make the right pass to Anthony Morrow for a wide open 3. Finally it will be acceptable for me to call Kendrick Perkins “Perk” on a regular basis.

Thunder Nation, welcome to the Kendrick Perkins ERA.

Chandler Goodman

(Select to enlarge) 

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Tyler Parker

Lots of chatter from the computers and the televisions and the radios and the podcasts and the my Dad’s mouth about what this Durant injury means for the Thunder. Who will step up? How will the team respond? When will Paul Thomas Anderson write a vehicle for Will Ferrell? What if Durant’s injury becomes a chronic problem? Is this really Westbrook’s time? Is he ready for this stage? Can a man used to flying be given the keys to a car and be expected to just drive the thing on the road? How many more questions can we ask?

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This is an impression of everyone you know:

Lol! Westbrook will probably shoot the ball 80 times a game. Lmfao. Watch me tweet this picture of him staring at the MVP trophy with cutting and wanting eyes. Rofl. Here’s another joke about how Westbrook won’t be bothered to pass to anyone now. Basketball Twitter is the same 75 people repeating the same five jokes. Something about Lance Stephenson. Something about JR Smith. Something about Nick Young. Something about Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Knicks. So on.

And so we get all this group mind and talk of Westbrook like he’s the one on the Thunder about to rise. To that point, please. If Russell Westbrook is the whole earth — and he is, because the reason we can’t feel ourselves spinning is because we are used to him always spinning, yellow elephant print from Barney’s getting frayed at the ends from the twirls, fuzzing and rising up into the air where he lives, expensive dandelions, his own glasses keeping everything from becoming a blur — then Kendrick Perkins is the sun.


He is that because you go around him. To go through him would be death. Those pearls that fall off Westbrook as he performs nuclear level pliés are only possible because the Human Death Star (If The Death Star Were Invincible) aka Kendrick Perkins aka Black Woody From Toy Story made the rest of the court stand still in his presence.

People may think this is Westbrook’s time to shine, but it will be very difficult for him to do so when he’s sharing the court with a mammoth ball of light and energy. Kendrick Perkins is actually the biggest star. He lights our way. I think it was CS Lewis who said that by him (Perkins) we see everything else. He still has life left, plenty of it, and you, whoever you are, are orbiting him.

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