Kendrick Perkins was washed up when the Pelicans signed him in 2015. His athleticism had declined at age 30, and the NBA was moving away from paint-clogging centers like him. But Perkins was still a savvy and tough veteran who provided experience.
He’s a liar. He was a liar. He just lied, man. He lied to me.
Perkins is talking here about Dell Demps, the Pelicans’ general manager while Perkins was there in 2015-16. Perkins says Demps “told me when I got to the Pelicans ‘Wow, we never had a leader like you. I appreciate you, we want you to retire here, we want you to be here the next two or three years, blah blah blah.’”
When Perkins’ contract was up that summer, there was no two-year deal for the vet minimum Perkins was hoping for. Only a call from Demps, who said, “I think we’re going to move in a different direction.”
I don’t know what Demps told Perkins. Sometimes, people hear what they want to believe.
But this isn’t the first time someone suggested Demps didn’t keep his word. Really, Demps has been a lightning rod for harsh public criticism from people who worked closely with him.
Perhaps, Demps thought Perkins could still contribute on the court. After all, Demps was a lousy general manager prone to that type of miscalculation. A season of seeing Perkins firsthand could have made Demps to come to his senses. Nobody else signed Perkins in 2016, and his career was nearly finished.
Or maybe Demps learned of the message Perkins was sending then-Pelicans star Anthony Davis. By his own admission, Perkins spent his time in New Orleans selling Davis on LeBron James and agent Rich Paul.
Of course, Davis later hired Paul, requested a trade and steered his way to joining LeBron on the Lakers.
That saga cost Demps his job, though it’s important to note he was already on thin ice for years of mishandling the roster. Now, Perkins is piling on even further. That’s rough.
Is it fair? Impossible to say for certain without hearing exactly what Demps told Perkins.