ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins has been one of the more critical voices when it comes to the New Orleans Pelicans in recent seasons, but the former member of the team is now apologizing to the city and the franchise.
In a prior back-and-forth spat with Pelicans fans, Perkins said that he would go on national television and apologize if the team signed Zion Williamson to an extension.
The Pelicans did just that last week, inking Williamson to a five-year contract that could keep him in New Orleans through the 2027-28 season. The deal is worth $193 million with incentives that could bump him up to $231.
On Tuesday, Perkins followed through with his part of the deal and apologized on ESPN.
“I owe the fan base. I owe the city of New Orleans. I owe David Griffin. I owe everybody in the front office. I owe everybody an apology,” Perkins said on NBA Today. “I’m coming on national television and I’m telling the whole fan base, the city of new orleans, the state of Louisiana that Big Perk apologizes, that I’m sorry. I said that if Zion signed back with the Pelicans to his rookie extension, I’d come on here and publicly apologize and admit that I was wrong about the city of New Orleans. They should not sell them.”
Perkins also said that he will be donating to a charity in the New Orleans area.
“That was the deal we made – some of us Pelicans fans on Twitter,” Perkins said. “As a man, I’m going to come on here and stand on that, honor my word.”
Perkins retired from the NBA in 2019 and has been critical of the Pelicans franchise ever since he landed his analyst gig with ESPN.
In February, Perkins said that the Pelicans should relocate to a different market to “stay relevant,” saying that Seattle and Las Vegas were potential destinations. He described those cities as “more deserving” of an NBA franchise.
On Tuesday, Perkins backed away from the idea that the Pelicans should be moved.
“The future is bright for the New Orleans Pelicans,” he said.
Perkins played one season with New Orleans, averaging 2.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 37 games during the 2015-16 season – his last significant action in the NBA.