Kendrick Perkins, somehow still in the NBA and only 31 years old(!), joined the Vertical Pod with Woj to talk at length about Kevin Durant’s departure from Oklahoma City, unveiling a potentially fascinating Miami Heat nugget in the process.
Perkins didn’t like how Durant told Russell Westbrook, and thought he should’ve told his superstar teammate similar to how LeBron James apparently gave Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade a heads up over dinner in 2014 — in Miami.
“My whole thing is, okay it’s cool, KD, you’re a man and you decide this is the decision you want to make but at the end of the day there’s a way you go about it,” Perkins said. “You don’t send Russ a text and say, ‘hey, I’m going to the Warriors.’
“No. You do like LeBron James did when he left Miami. He went down and he sat and had dinner with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to tell them that he was leaving, that he was going to sign with Cleveland. That’s what you do.”
Now while it’s unclear where or when this dinner took place, it could have been that very-publicized meal at Soho House on Miami Beach on June 25.
— Lesley Abravanel (@lesleyabravanel) June 25, 2014
The keyword is “could.”
This makes things very interesting in hindsight, as it was over two weeks before his meeting in Vegas with Pat Riley, which was a day before LeBron’s “I’m Coming Home” letter came out. It’d also help explain how the relationships between Riley and Wade, as well as Bosh, have become so rotten.
A quick timeline recap of the Summer of 2014:
- June 25 — James meets with Wade and Bosh at Soho House
- June 28 — Wade opts out of his contract (two years, $41M remaining)
- July 10 — LeBron meets with Riley in Vegas
- July 11 — LeBron announces return to Cleveland
- July 12 — Bosh re-signs with the Heat (5 years, $118M)
- July 16 — Wade re-signs with the Heat (2 years, $31M, opt-out after one)
Time for some reckless speculation…
If Perkins is spot-on about James telling his former teammates of his Cavs reunion with 100 percent certainty (and this was weeks before his “decision”), this means Pat Riley was operating in the complete dark — for weeks — while Bosh and Wade already knew of James’ intentions.
In this scenario, Bosh and Wade kept this critical information under wraps while Riley was dicked around by LeBron and his people during what would become the Free Agency from Hell.
A relevant question: Why would Wade, knowing James was leaving, opt out of a contract paying him $20 million annually only to then take a deal worth $10-11 million less? This is where things get murky.
Could Wade have thought a max contract was in his future if James left? Keep in mind he was coming off a season with that “maintenance program,” playing in just 53 regular season games. He was also coming of a lackluster Finals performance that featured him shooting 7 of 25 over their final two games.
Nobody was going to give Wade a max deal. Bosh, on the other hand, was 30 and in excellent health at the time. Making things even more interesting is the fact Bosh and Wade also shared the same agent at the time.
We may never know what really went down in that Summer of 2014, but Perk’s recent comments are reopening some eyeballs.
Props to Leif for the heads up.
Wow so Kendrick Perkins on Woj podcast says when LBJ met w/ Dwyane & CB for lunch before 2014 FA he told them face to face he was leaving.
— Leif (@Lefty_Leif) October 1, 2016
Listen to Perk’s comments around the 38-minute mark below.