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Five Ways to Settle the Drake–Kendrick Perkins Beef

The most important matchup of the NBA playoffs is between the Toronto rapper and the Cleveland enforcer. Here’s a breakdown of their feud, and our humble suggestions for deciding who wins.

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

NBA players used to get into fights. But these days they would get harshly penalized for fighting, so the biggest NBA playoffs beef we’re getting this year is between a fan who wishes he were a player and a player who might as well be a fan: Drake versus Kendrick Perkins. As Toronto graciously allowed Cleveland to defeat it in another postseason game on Tuesday night, the unofficial Raptors mascot got into two separate yelling spats with the Cavaliers center/bouncer.

First, they needed to be separated by other players:

After the Cavs won 113-112 in overtime, Perkins screamed “I’M SUPERSIZED” at Drake, which, to be fair, is true:

Drake apparently followed Perkins into the tunnel to curse him out and call for a face-to-face confrontation. According to Perkins, the dispute started over a joke he made to ex-teammate Serge Ibaka. According to Drake, it started over … pants?

Let’s examine the tale of the tape. Drake is roughly 6 feet tall and has shattered all prior records for Rapper Friendliness. Perkins is 6-foot-10, 270 pounds, and the simple act of smiling appears to cause him physical pain. He is not on the Cavs to play basketball, having been signed on the final day of the regular season. Perkins is on Cleveland’s roster to provide bench meanness. (In seasons past, the Cavaliers gave this role to Dahntay Jones, who got technical fouls from the bench and used his limited minutes to punch opponents in the groin.)

Perkins is in these playoffs to wear a suit and intimidate people. He’s a bodyguard, and you really shouldn’t fight bodyguards. We need to stop Drake-vs.-Perk before it ascends to physical violence, because one punch from Perk would cause Drake to disintegrate like Perk had the Infinity Gauntlet. He’d be running through the six with no bones.

Here are five possible ways they could settle the score.

3-Point Shooting Contest

Perkins might be an NBA player, but he is not good at shooting basketballs. Over his 14-season professional career, he is 0-for-14 on 3-point attempts. In Kendrick’s defense, seven of those shots can be described as “heaves,” taken beyond midcourt, likely with the game or shot clock winding down. But still: The guy isn’t much of a shooter. He is muscle, not finesse.

Here is Drake shooting a basketball:

I genuinely don’t know who would hit more 3s.

Fashion Off

Drake says the beef started because he roasted Perkins’s clothing, so let’s make this about fashion. Perk probably won’t have to suit up in any game this series, so let’s turn this into a suit-off. Every game, Perkins and Drake should show up in the best outfits they can find, and NBA fans at large can collectively determine the winner.

We know Drake is fashionable: He has his own clothing line, and the Raptors’ “North” uniforms are based on his black-and-gold aesthetic. Let’s check out Perk’s greatest looks.

Is that … a suit with leather sleeves? Why would he think the sleeves of a suit should ever be made from a different material than the rest of the suit?

Wait, hold the hell up. What was Kendrick’s process here? How did he buy an entire outfit that’s too large even for him? The jacket doesn’t fit, the pants don’t fit, the shirt doesn’t fit. Did he get all this at Gheorghe Muresan’s garage sale? And are those pants also leather? What is up with these half-leather looks?

And … my man. MY MAN. Are you wearing sunglasses at your own wedding? OK, it looks like he took them off for the ceremony and ensuing horse-and-carriage ride, but still. Isn’t there some type of rule against wearing white at weddings if you aren’t the bride?

Call off the fight. I’ll give Kendrick some leeway because it must be difficult for extremely tall men to find formalwear, but a fashion battle would be just as unfair as an actual brawl.

Hockey Fight

If Drake and Perkins must sort this out physically, let’s give Drake an equalizer. Basically every playoff series between Toronto and another team devolves into a referendum on Canada-U.S. relations. And the best way for Canada and America to settle disputes has always been on ice. Drake is smaller and weaker, but spent his formative years playing youth hockey. Who knows if Perkins has ever been ice skating? Drake might be able to knock him over by lightly yoinking Perk’s oversized hockey sweater. He’d better hope so, because this would turn out badly for him if Kendrick could gather his strength on skates.

Also acceptable as a method to settle this dispute: ice dancing.

Rap Battle via Champion

Perkins could not outrap Drake. But let us borrow a page from Game of Thrones and have him select a champion to battle Drake in his stead. The easy picks would be his kindred Kendrick, Kendrick Lamar, stepping to the plate to represent his namesake. Or Meek Mill, who is freshly free and has a history of beefing with Drake. (Although as a Sixers fan, perhaps Meek should root for the team without LeBron James on it.)

Of course, when Migos made an entire mixtape track of basketball references, the very first name they dropped was Perk’s. I have never understood why that happened—“slam dunk on you n***** like Kendrick Perkins” is a lyric that could have worked with practically any NBA player’s name inserted, and Offset chose Kendrick Perkins. Clearly, Offset deeply admires the muscular big man.

Come on, Offset, and any other Migos who wish to join him. Tear Drake apart. You’ve been waiting for this moment since people thought “Versace” was a Drake song.

Basketball Series

Here’s how this would work: Drake would gather 12 to 15 professional basketball players. Perk would do the same, although he, unlike Drake, would be allowed to participate. The two teams would play a best-of-seven series—with up to four games in Toronto, and up to three in Cleveland. If Perkins’s team wins, he’d be declared the winner. Likewise for Drake.

However, let’s give Perkins’s team a 1-0 series lead to account for the fact that, according to both of them, Drake is the one who started the feud. A third party will supply officials to ensure the rules of basketball are obeyed.

No, no, this is dumb. Why would we assign outside meaning or value to the result of a series of basketball games? Nobody would ever get into that.