Kendrick Perkins shares ‘the biggest factor’ why Kevin Durant left the Thunder

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Logan Newman
·2 min read
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Kevin Durant has been gone from the Oklahoma City Thunder for a half-decade, and the two sides have moved on, but it seems like there are frequently new stories about his time near the end of the tenure.

Kendrick Perkins, who joined the Thunder near the 2011 trade deadline and played there until that of 2015, shared a story on what he considers to be “the biggest factor” on why Durant left OKC.

While arguing about Russell Westbrook with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN, Perkins said Durant’s departure wasn’t about his superstar teammate — it was about culture that the star thought limited him.

“I love (general manager) Sam Presti, I love (former assistant manager) Troy Weaver. We know that Sam Presti grew up under what organization: the Spurs. They have a way of going about things. They are cool-headed, they’re all about culture, they’re not about individual success,” Perkins said.

“When KD won MVP — I was there — Nike, this is facts, Nike wanted to put a big-sized poster of Kevin Durant on Chesapeake Arena. They would not let them.”

Smith nodded. “Presti wouldn’t let them,” he said.

“They would not let Kevin Durant brand himself enough and market himself enough because it was too much about team. And that played the biggest factor on why Kevin Durant left, because he was tired of being under that culture and that’s why when we saw him get to Golden State, we saw a different Kevin Durant. He started speaking out more freely, he started carrying himself a different way, because he wasn’t able to be that Kevin Durant in OKC.”

Perkins said that though Durant and Westbrook “had their rough patches,” that is not rare for star teammates chasing championships — he had firsthand experience seeing Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce do the same with the Boston Celtics and LeBron James and Kevin Love do so with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Take this input from Perkins and the acknowledgement from Smith as you will.

This post originally appeared on OKCThunderWire. Follow us on Facebook!