Kendrick Perkins rips Paul George for 'cowardly' criticism of Doc Rivers


Kendrick Perkins is sticking up for one of his old coaches.

Clippers superstar Paul George turned heads this week when he publicly criticized former coach Doc Rivers over his usage and the team's apparent locker room friction.

The story was the latest in a series of unflattering reports suggesting the Clippers had significant chemistry issues, and it resonated in Philly, where Rivers is now running a team that was beset by those very issues last season, according to the assessment of star Ben Simmons.

To some observers, George's remarks, made on the All the Smoke podcast, were unnecessary and perhaps inaccurate.

Perkins, a former veteran role player and never one to mince words, took George to task for what he characterized as throwing Rivers under the bus, and a "coward move."

"That's BS," Perkins said on the ESPN program The Jump. "Matter of fact that's a bunch of BS."

"It was a coward move by Paul George, by blaming Doc Rivers for his lack of productivity, and for not being accountable for him not showing up on the basketball court."

George had griped that Rivers didn't run enough pick-and-roll, a claim Perkins says the research does not support.

"It was a cowardly move, in my opinion, and he should have held himself accountable, and not thrown Doc under the bus for him not performing the way he should have performed, period."

George and the Clippers were exiled from the Western Conference Semifinals by the Denver Nuggets after taking a 3-1 series lead, an epic collapse for a team with high expectations after bringing in George and fellow All-Star Kawhi Leonard.

George did not play up to his usual standard for much of the Clippers' run in the NBA bubble, admitting at one point he was struggling with anxiety and depression in the confines of the campus in Orlando.

Rivers departed soon after the Clippers' ouster, raising questions about what exactly had gone so terribly wrong for a team loaded with talent.

Perkins, who played for Rivers with the Boston Celtics, thinks the disappointing finish was more on the players than Rivers -- and his distrust of George in the big spot is why he picked the Lakers to win the NBA title rather than his former coach's team.

"One of the many reasons is, I didn't trust Paul George -- not in the crucial moment," Perkins said. "From his history, even when you go back to Oklahoma City, I remember one game in particular, it was a closeout game in Utah, he went 2-for-15 from the field, while Russ dropped 25, and after that I saw his body language, and I could see it in his eyes.

"I don't trust Paul George."