Kendrick Perkins defends Doc Rivers after JJ Redick’s dicey criticism

Matthew Legros
JJ Redick (left) on the court and Kendrick Perkins (right) in ESPN's "NBA Today" studio.

Kendrick Perkins set the record straight on ESPN’s “NBA Today” after former NBA star JJ Redick openly castigated their former coach Doc Rivers.

Redick had a bone to pick with the Milwaukee Bucks leader for his reasoning behind the team’s underachieving ways since taking over at their helm.

He came at Rivers for “always makes excuses” after the latter told the media that inheriting the role was harder than he thought following their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on February 15.

Perkins took that as an insult. So, he defended the coach that led him to an NBA title in 2008 with the Boston Celtics and offset the offensive that his contemporary took.

Kendrick Perkins has unwavering faith in River’s coaching

Moderator Chiney Ogwumike asked the panel to touch on Rivers’ 3-7 record this season and the Bucks’ outlook the rest of the way.

Perkins said that he trusts Doc to “figure it out” in the midst of their struggles. The outspoken analyst’s comment came after Rivers’ son and fellow panelist Austin Rivers took a more direct approach on Tuesday.

The younger Rivers took several jabs at Redick’s poor defense taking him off the floor late in games while playing for his father with the Los Angeles Clippers, as ESPN relayed on X/Twitter after the airing.

“But, in terms of accountability, like, what are we doing here? Your best years in the NBA were when you played for him in the Clippers. Let’s not forget that. And I don’t know if there’s like, frustration there or there’s tension that exists between you?” Rivers questioned before solidifying his stance.

“It’s just very ironic and kind of weird, that you have this energy towards him in terms of him never ever being accountable, considering he’s always been responsible.”

Fans and celebrities also gave their two cents on the growing beef between the NBA heads including rapper/actor Cam’Ron, who shot down the younger Rivers’ defense of his father in a profanity-laced gut check.

Perkins gave the elder Rivers open support without besmirching his name. He reminded Redick and the basketball world why the Bucks coach got the nod to lead the East All-Stars this year.

Rivers’ success or lack thereof the rest of the season will likely dictate whether this verbal squabble continues or gets squashed.

About The Author

Matthew graduated from Brooklyn College in 2022 with a Bachelor's degree in Communications. In the past, he's written for Heavy Sports, Sports Illustrated, and SB Nation. On top of penning scripts for Empire Sports Media, Matthew covers the latest NBA, NFL and Boxing news for Dexerto. His expertise lies in basketball, with a personal passion for track-and-field. You can contact him at