Former NBA Champion Calls Out Lakers’ LeBron James: ‘In Your Feelings’

The Los Angeles Lakers’ were turned down by UConn head coach Dan Hurley for their vacancy, dominating the conversation in the sports media world.

One analyst, however, had something else to get off his chest. It was ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins, a former teammate of LeBron James’ from the Cleveland Cavaliers and he took issue with the Lakers star unfollowing him on social media.

“Imagine unfollowing me on Twitter but you still gotta watch me on TV every morning. Because I ain’t going nowhere, any time soon,” Perkins said on “First Take” on June 10. “That’s No. 1. No. 2, I think LeBron got sensitive over the last couple weeks because I’ve been calling him out or have to speak on certain things that he may disagree with; like the firing of Darvin Ham or the coaching search for the Lakers, or even having to touch on the Bronny James situation when it comes to dealing with the draft.”

The perceived slight comes in the wake of Perkins’ assertion that James was trying to steal the spotlight from Dallas Mavericks star Kyrie Irving.

James lamented not being alongside Irving anymore on his “Mind The Game” podcast.

“Here we go again,” Perkins said on “NBA Today” on June 6. “This is not about you. Your team is at home. This is about the Mavs and the Celtics. But yet you so mad and disappointed that you’re not Kyrie Irving’s running mate anymore. Here we go again.”

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that Irving wanted to reunite with James in LA or Dallas last season in January. But the Mercurial guard is happy with his situation.

Perkins brought up his noted history of supporting James.

“At the end of the day, everyone on this television … we have been going back and forth,” Perkins said. “Name me sombody, probably other than Shannon [Sharpe], that has been coming on here lobbying and defending for LeBron James like I have been on the basketball side of things.”

The issue was not specific to Irving, though, with Perkins addressing James directly on “First Take.”

Kendrick Perkins: Rich Paul’s Involvment  ‘Disappointing Part’ of  Fallout With Lakers’ LeBron James Fallout

“The few times that I disagree with you, you get in your feelings? And you don’t pick up the phone and hit me up or send me a text. And you know, the disappointing part about it is that I get a call or text from [Klutch Sports CEO] Rich Paul. Bron, I been knowing you since 1999, brother,” Perkins said.

“We played AAU basketball together – we played against each other in AAU basketball. We played in the McDonald’s All-American game together, we was in the same draft. You have my phone number. If you had a problem with anything I said, we could’ve picked up the phone and had a conversation. But instead you took to the public. You knew the world was gonna see it eventually that you unfollowed me.”

Kendrick Perkins: “Get ready to start sculpting the statue for LeBron outside of Crypto.”

— Oh No He Didn’t (@ohnohedidnt24) March 3, 2024

Perkins went on about living in “weird times” with “stalkers” getting alerted to players unfollowing one another.

A former first-round draft pick (No. 27 overall in 2003) and a member of the 2008 championship Celtics, Perkins enjoyed a 14-year career. His time included stints with the Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans, though he never reached All-Star status.

Perkins took umbrage with the idea that anyone would question his merits or try to sway him.

Kendrick Perkins Defends Media Career

“Here’s the thing, right. Real talk, I bust my a** to get in this position that I am in this media space, right? And my thing is – we all know this – Hall of Famers franchise guys, when they retire they get the red carpet rolled out from them in the media space whether they good or not. We know this, right?” Perkins said on the “Road Trippin’” podcast on June 9.

“Working at a network, if they feel like that you’re being biased in any type of way – especially coming from a guy that was a former role player in the league – your a** going to be on the chopping block.”

Perkins reiterated his stance on being available to the Lakers star, James, by phone, and he relayed an anecdote about a similar situation with Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris.

Kendrick Perkins: “Tobias Harris, let him walk. I mean, damn. He asked them if they wanted something from Chick-fil-A before the game, the team told him yes and he came back with a bag full of napkins and straws. I mean he was just a no-show out there.”

— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 3, 2024

Harris’ camp reached out to Perkins. He did not back down but the two sides talked it out.

“At the end of the day, I cannot kiss nobody a** because of something that I said on television,” Perkins said. “I won’t do it.”

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