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Draymond Green Rips Kendrick Perkins For Praying for LeBron James Injury in 2008

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 27, 2022

Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green ripped into Kendrick Perkins after the former NBA center admitted to once praying for LeBron James to get injured.

"Are you kidding me? You actually thought that was OK to admit? Come on, cuz," Green said on his podcast (13:45 mark). "You can't think that's OK to admit. Even if you felt that way—which, by the way, why do you feel that way? That's a problem. But even if you feel that way, take that to the grave, my man."

Perkins admitted he was so "terrified" of James during the 2008 Eastern Conference Semifinals that he hoped the then-Cleveland Cavaliers star went down with an injury before Game 7.

"I ain't going to lie, man, I was scared as hell going into that Game 7 against LeBron James," Perkins said on the Old Man and the Three podcast. "This was the only time that I actually prayed that something happened to him at practice. ... I was like, 'Let us get breaking news that LeBron tore his ACL or something. I did, bro, I'm not even lying. I'm not even exaggerating."

Green said he found Perkins' admission unbecoming for someone who used to be an NBA player and called it a "character flaw."

"There was once a point in time where ACLs was ending people's careers. You remember this is how we feed our families?" Green said. "We always talk—I don't know if you do, because it's not much substance—we always talk about, when you get hurt, you leave the court, you live that. You don't leave the court and it's like, 'All right, I'm not hurt anymore, I can walk now. But when the game's going on, when practice is going on, I'm back on crutches.' Like it's a video game. No, you really live this stuff.

"So, for you to pray on another man's downfall, that's a character flaw, my man. If you pray on somebody's downfall once, you're gonna pray on it again. ... That just means you're the type of person who will pray on someone's downfall. That's a little wack to me. That's not new media. I don't understand. You don't have to go on TV and go act like that, brother. You played. Act like it. Stop doing this. Stop making a fool of yourself."

Of course, Perkins' prayers went unheard and James has spent his entire 19-year NBA career without suffering a catastrophic injury. Perkins' Celtics were also able to escape that second-round series with a victory despite James' clean bill of health on their way to capturing the 2008 NBA championship.

While Perkins' comments were seemingly made out of respect for James' presence on the floor, Green's response highlights what could be a general feeling among players about wishing injuries on one another.

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