Kendrick Perkins embarrassed himself when criticizing Rudy Gobert's status

It's one thing to lay blame on someone, it's one thing to pretend that recency bias tells the whole story.
Dallas Mavericks v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Two
Dallas Mavericks v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Two / David Berding/GettyImages

Remember when ESPN was seen as an actual news agency? Where they specialize in news, information, breakdowns, and genuine sports coverage? I do. That was a time long-long ago, before the TMZ's of the world started to influence how we perceived news. Now everything is outlandishly over the top. It's less about articulate explanations of why things are the way they are, or how we came to the conclusion we did, but about hot takes.

Less informative and more emotional. It's the fast food of opinions. Concepts that were once so revered that you had to have a complete working knowledge of what you were talking about in order to get a spot on a dias. Now, any ex "pro" can get on the air and say bone-headed things and we're supposed to treat their word as if it means something.

Enter Kendrick Perkins. A guy player so bad at his prior job, that he wouldn't have been in the NBA if he weren't 6'10. Perkins is not known for his basketball skillset or his defensive prowess, but rather for his size and now, more recently, his inability to be taken seriously as a sports analyst.

Proving that just because you got into the Association, doesn't mean you understand the sport, Perkins is doing a wonderful job of making himself one of the most unserious members of the media. His constant digs at former Utah Jazz defensive stalwart, Rudy Gobert, have already been debunked, endlessly, by a far more refined expert on the sport, J.J. Reddick. Yet, Perkins persists.

Now he's going so far as to say that voting Gobert the Defensive Player of the Year was the biggest mistake of his career, to the point that he will apparently retire from voting after this season.

Gobert, a Jazz legend, is one of the best defensive players in the league and proves it regularly. Yet, because the 7'1 center can't guard Luka Doncic, (no one can), Gobert's all of a sudden a "bad" defender. Never mind how valuable Gobert was against the Denver Nuggets just the round prior, but because Gobert can't defend the best guard in the league, he's all of a sudden a trash player?

That's nothing but recency bias.

He's far from a bad defender. He's actually quite good. The problem is that the league as a whole doesn't prioritize or emphasize defense anymore. They've neutered the allowances that the defense has had over the decades, like hand-checking. In doing so, playing defense has become a much harder affair.

So offensive players by and large have far more things to rely on, so of course offensive-minded guys like Doncic are going to cook defenders. The NBA rules are set up to produce those exact results.

Yet, if you want to even go further back, skilled defenders were never able to slow down the offensive stars. Look at Gary Payton. Michael Jordan dropped 27 a night on him in the 1996 NBA Finals. Payton has long been considered the best defensive guard of his era (aside from John Stockton), and even he couldn't stop Jordan.

That was in an era where defenders had more rules in their favors, so if Payton couldn't slow down Jordan, then why would we think Gobert could stop Doncic? He's playing out of position trying to guard Doncic. As much as we like to pretend the NBA is this positionless wonderland, it's not. The bigger you are, the slower you are. That's just usually how it is. So, it's wild that a guy like Perkins, who was in the league for as long as he was, wouldn't understand the concept of nuance.

That's what's lacking from hot-takes, the concept of nuance. No one who understands basketball is going to say Gobert is overrated. If the media or his peers don't respect the former Jazz legend, that doesn't speak poorly about him, it speaks poorly about them.