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KD defends legacy, Nets in Twitter exchanges

Kevin Durant apparently isn’t going to take Twitter criticism about his NBA legacy or decision to join the Brooklyn Nets, jumping into the replies to engage with media members multiple times this week.

Thursday’s back-and-forth was with former Thunder teammate and current ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins, on the same night as Russell Westbrook‘s return to Oklahoma City.

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Kendrick Perkins shares his feelings about his Twitter exchange with Kevin Durant on Russell Westbrook being the best Thunder player.

Durant landed one of the first Twitter jabs when he bashed Perkins for averaging a “whopping 2 and 3” during a second-round playoff loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in 2013.

Yea and our starting center @KendrickPerkins averaged a whopping 2 and 3 during that series. U played hard tho champ lol

— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) January 10, 2020

Durant’s tweet had followed a back-and-forth that started with Perkins declaring that Westbrook was the best player ever to put on a Thunder jersey, with a number of people replying to show support for Durant.

In about 30 minutes I’m going to give my opinion on @SportsCenter on why Believe that Russell Westbrook is the best player to have ever put on a Oklahoma City Thunder Jersey!!! He is MR. THUNDER!!!

— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) January 9, 2020

Order may have been restored through Perkins’ response of “Facts on the averages and facts on the Champ part too!!!”

Facts on the averages and facts on the Champ part too!!!

— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) January 10, 2020

Durant responded with a handshake emoji — but Perkins continued, calling Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors in 2016 “the weakest move in NBA history” and telling him, “Truth be told you don’t even feel like a real Champ.”

Boy stop you did the weakest move in NBA History!!! Up on a team 3-1 in the western conference finals and then go join them the following season?! Heart of Champion right there

— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) January 10, 2020

Perkins, speaking Friday in an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump, apologized to Westbrook for helping to take the spotlight off him and putting it on Durant, adding that it was what Durant intended.

“However KD feels about the situation, that’s on him. … ” Perkins said. “I’ve heard on the record numerous times what KD says, ‘I don’t care about what OKC do anymore’ and all this. So what does it matter? It’s almost like you have this ill will towards the Thunder. …

“I wasn’t shooting a slug at KD about calling Russ ‘Mr. Thunder.’ I was stating the facts. He is Mr. Thunder.”

On Thursday night, Durant’s response had been to continue to question Perkins’ contributions.

That’s fine!!! You worked that hard and still had to go join a 73-9 team. Truth be told you don’t even feel like a real Champ, you have hard time sleeping at night huh knowing that you took the coward way out!!!

— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) January 10, 2020

On Wednesday, Durant defended his decision to join the Nets when CBS Sports Radio’s Brandon Tierney tweeted that Durant “passed up the shot” to play for the New York Knicks while also implying that the Brooklyn team is irrelevant.

Nothing but respect for your game, but the reality is simple: the Mecca had your name all over it, and you passed up the shot. I’m from BK, it’s in my blood. But NYC is ALL about the Knicks. And always will be.

At least @carmeloanthony got in the batter’s box. Took a swing. https://t.co/9mU91UPs6N

— Brandon Tierney (@BrandonTierney) January 9, 2020

The reality is that you wanted me to do what You wanted me to do. I didn’t and now you feel some weird way about it. Get over yourself bro, i know u got a lil platform but come out the clouds. It’s not real

— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) January 9, 2020

Durant did downplay the significance of these interactions, tweeting that “this energy doesn’t leave social media” and “We talkin hoops not life. There’s a difference.”

We talkin hoops not life. There’s a difference.

— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) January 10, 2020

This week continues a history of social media moments involving Durant. In July, he and CJ McCollum went back and forth after the Trail Blazers guard referred to Durant as “soft.”

Durant also called it a “total accident” in April 2018 when he liked criticism of Westbrook on Instagram. He also was caught in September 2017 using “burner” Twitter accounts to criticize the Thunder.

Durant is not expected to play this season after he ruptured his right Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in June, his final game with the Warriors. He signed a four-year contract worth up to $164 million with the Nets in the offseason.

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