Playoff Draymond Green showed up in Game 6 against the Memphis Grizzlies. Then, the Golden State Warriors forward took a break from basking in the glow of his 14 point, 15-rebound, eight-assist performance to address ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins’ comments about his 24 combined points in the first five games of the Grizzlies series.
Via NBC Sports:
“Something came to my phone earlier,” Green said during his postgame presser. “Some guy saying I’m scared to shoot the basketball. Scared and me in the same sentence is brutal. But you got a big ogre on TV talking about what Draymond says ain’t the gospel. It is the gospel. What I say is the gospel. When you say that multiple times on several different segments, you must think what I say is the gospel. So, you got to come out and shut some guys up sometimes. When you got people talking out the side of their neck. ‘Anybody can make the pass Draymond make.’ That’s just stupid.”
Perkins’ war of words started with Green going on First Take after Game 5 to imply he could get off the couch and fabricate more offense in the Warriors lineup than their skeleton-key forward.
“I’m sitting up here seeing all the turnovers. He doesn’t even look at the basket.
“He’s afraid of taking the shot right now. So some of those assists he’s getting to Steph Curry, Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson, I could go out there and get those same assists. They wide open.”
Understandably, that analysis would bother Green, who has never been the type of player whose value is represented in the box score and he isn’t ignorant to how his value is perceived outside Golden State.
Left to his own devices on Friday night after he caught wind of Green’s press conference comments, Perkins posted a rejoinder on social media to Green’s “ogre” dig. His retort was a bizarre, juvenile harangue. Rather than respond to the jabs at his career in the NBA, which he’s seemingly grown numb to by this point, Perkins played victim, pulled his wife into the mix to vouch for his uhh… attractiveness and concluded with him calling Green U-G-L-Y.
“Hey Draymond, let me let you in on a little something, man, all that ogre, whatever you say I look like, man, you ain’t cute,” he said. “You ain’t handsome, man, you better thank that NBA logo, you better thank Jerry West. I’ve been with my wife since the 10th grade, dime piece before the NBA stuff, so don’t get it all twisted.”
Perkins probably pressed send feeling like he was Kendrick Lamar walking out the booth. In reality, it was bafoonish for a 40-year-old man who has platforms like First Take and NBA Today at his disposal to fire back like a Mean Girl.
Before he ended that recording, Perkins should have gone outside and touched some grass. I’m sure he had a dozen texts on his phone telling him he had to fire back ASAP, but he inadvertently made himself look like more of a joke. I don’t know if Perkins is self-conscious about his looks, but a hit dog will holler.
The most cantankerous man in the NBA used Perkins’ comments as fuel and Perkins hopped into yet another battle. That’s Perkins’ role, though. And as we learned from his NBA career, he plays his role exquisitely. Big Perk was a low post club bouncer during his playing career, tasked with guarding the door to the basket and protecting the stars he had the opportunity to play with. Since transitioning to the media, he’s become an antagonist to former teammates and several active players.
In recent weeks, he earned a rebuke from the wife of ex-teammate Russell Westbrook. You could do an entire montage of all the times Kevin Durant has taken issue with Perkins’ takes. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s family was apoplectic over Perkins calling Giannis, Khris Middleton’s Robin.
His value at ESPN isn’t in his insights or his thoughts about smoking. He’s not an ogre. He’s more akin to a media troll, there to get reactions from players and then feed off that fodder to create more content for their studio shows. We’ll find out how successful he is when he and Stephen A. are bumping their gums on Monday to milk their self-perpetuated drama for all it’s worth.