Former NBA champion Kendrick Perkins took to Twitter this week to apologize to Fred VanVleet, retracting some of the "negative things" he said about the Raptor in the past. Perkins made it known that he was a fan of the Toronto Raptors during their historic playoff run, especially during the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. This didn't stop him from criticizing certain Raptors players, though, including Finals MVP nominee Fred VanVleet.
It's no secret that VanVleet had a rough start to the playoffs and wasn't playing to his potential. However, coach Nick Nurse, the Raptors coaching staff and fans all had faith that VanVleet could turn it around. Perkins made it clear that he wasn't one of those faithful fans. He was so unimpressed with VanVleet's game at one point he was calling for him to pulled off the court and replaced by teammates.
"Please Get VanVleet out the game! Meeks or Lin!!! Jesus Christ," Perkins tweeted on May 19.
Most people had sympathy for VanVleet at the time, who said he barely slept when his second child was born in May, requiring him to travel back and forth from Chicago in between playoff games. Perkins, who claims he wasn't aware of VanVleet's situation, said on ESPN that his game was "horrible" until he came in clutch in the final series.
He also made a few angry tweets about VanVleet during the playoffs.
Please Get VanVleet out the game! Meeks or Lin!!! Jesus Christ— Kendrick Perkins (@Kendrick Perkins)1558313409.0
Not a bad start for Toronto! Defense was on point! If I’m Nurse i might consider okay Lin if VanVleet don’t start h… https://t.co/PrrsDxl25w— Kendrick Perkins (@Kendrick Perkins)1558308780.0
However, after watching VanVleet dominate the floor on Tuesday's season opener, Perkins issued an apology to VanVleet.
"I want apologize to Fred Vanvleet for all the negative things I said about that young man because he’s looking damn good as a starter right now and he can flat out hoop!!!" Perkins wrote.
On opening night when the Raptors got their championship rings and the banner was raised, VanVleet got to start alongside Lowry, Gasol, Anunoby, and Siakam. VanVleet put up a career-high 34 points going five for seven downtown and 12 for 18 overall. Perkins obviously took notice.
VanVleet has yet to reply to Perkins' tweet, but commenters agree that it takes a "real man" to make that kind of apology.
@KendrickPerkins Takes a big man to do this. Hats off to you sir. @FredVanVleet— Ro₿ Chang ☢️ (@Ro₿ Chang ☢️)1571794468.0
@KendrickPerkins Real men admit when they’re wrong. 👊 Perk— Mark Jackson (@Mark Jackson)1571794911.0
@KendrickPerkins It's awesome that you can change your view and admit it. A lot of pundits say crap then never ackn… https://t.co/n2dVqDAF5I— Chris F. 🌎 citizen 🇨🇦 🇺🇸 focused (@Chris F. 🌎 citizen 🇨🇦 🇺🇸 focused)1571794553.0
@KendrickPerkins Respect 🙌 https://t.co/aEoKPFgJ5Z— B-only (@B-only)1571812803.0
VanVleet will continue to turn the haters into believers and will be in the NBA for a long, long time.