Interviews

Published on June 25th, 2020 | by Percy Crawford

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Beyond a Basketball Wife: One-On-One With Vanity Perkins

Being the wife of Kendrick Perkins, Vanity Perkins understands the importance of balance!

Vanity Perkins holds down the fort while her husband, NBA Champion and ESPN analyst, Kendrick Perkins breaks down the happenings on the hardwood. It’s a job that took, Vanity some time to adjust to, considering some of the negative undertone in some of, Kendrick’s opinions. Understanding it is a job, Vanity accepts it although she still stands firm on her more positive outlook on things. Vanity and Kendrick are the proud parents of four and during this period of quarantine, they have had their share of fun with, “Big Perk,” via social media while he tries to catch some ZZZ’s.

During my recent conversation with, Vanity, she talks about the fan’s love/hate relationship with, Kendrick, affects of social media, “The Last Dance,” and much more!

When everyone was first quarantined, you posted a video waking my man, “Perk,” up with loud music and the kids were videoing him. Has the Perkins household settled into quarantine now, or is disrupting, Kendrick’s sleep still a theme (laughing)?

Vanity Perkins: It’s so funny you ask that because I was doing a video last night of the boys. Kendrick was sleeping and I was doing this punch and make the punching sound on Tik Tok, but I could never connect it with the sound it was so fast. We still like messing with him during quarantine (laughing).

You have a husband that travels, four kids in the household, what have you been doing to maintain during these unfamiliar times?

Vanity Perkins: We have been doing a lot of family time. Kendrick’s been doing a lot of shows, so we have been able to kind of sit back and watch him do his thing on ESPN. We have been training together, working out together and just making the best of it. I’m actually enjoying it.

You guys are high school sweethearts, correct?

Vanity Perkins: Yes! We were high school sweethearts. He says 10th grade, I say 11th. He seems to have a better memory than me.

You may be the first woman to ever admit that (laughing).

Vanity Perkins: (Laughing) Right!

As a player, you understand opposing teams’ fans booing and not liking him or criticizing his game. As a commentator, it seems like the attacks are more personal, more at his character and I know that can’t be easy. How do you deal with that?

Vanity Perkins: It’s funny you ask that because I literally had a problem with him doing ESPN because I’m not used to the negative side of him. We were actually having a lot of arguments about it because I don’t like it. I’m a positive person. He was a player before and I remember when Shaq would do, “Shaqtin’ a Fool,” and I used to try to keep my kids from seeing it and just try to keep them away from it because I hated the part where he was getting teased or criticized. Now that he’s doing it, I have to remind him. And he’s trying to not be biased and I understand it, but I literally don’t like that part of him doing analysis work.

Social media doesn’t help because those 2 to 3-minute clips never die. It used to be said and talked about a few hours and then it would kind of dissipate. Now, those clips never die. You look at his situation with, “KD.” It’s being provoked on social media because the clip is still in rotation.

Vanity Perkins: I do! And I think people are just able to voice their opinions. Some people… it doesn’t matter if he’s saying something right or wrong, they just don’t like him, or they love him. So, it really doesn’t matter. They are going to have their take on him. I think it does have a lot to do with the beef that’s going on with him and, “KD.” It just continues because of everybody’s input and opinions that they have about it.

Obviously, it’s hard to keep kids off of the internet and social media, do you have a vetting process of regulating what they consume and don’t consume when it comes to their father?

Vanity Perkins: So, what I do with their social media pages, I’m very in-tune with their pages. I do a lot of blocking, and I’m on there making sure they’re following the right people. As far as their dad’s comments and stuff, if it’s something that bothers them, I just explain it to them. Kendrick has a good thing where he tries to keep them away from reading his comments. They are smart kids. They know the game, they know what it is, so I don’t really have a problem with it too much.

I know at least one of your sons is heavy into basketball. I saw, Kendrick post videos of him ballin.’ What’s that like to have another potential baller on your hands, and it seems to be very organic? You can tell he really enjoys it.

Vanity Perkins: I feel so proud of him because he was literally born to be a ball player. He lives it, so I’m embracing it and supporting him. I’m at his practices, his games… right now we’re trying to work on his diet. I’m proud of him. Whatever he wants to do, I’m with it. My other son, my oldest is into it now. It took him awhile. We kind of let him go with the flow of whatever he wanted to do, and now, he’s real big into it. So, you will be seeing more of him as well.

My man, “Perk” was not a fan of your commentary of the Michael Jordan documentary, “The Last Dance.” I think you focused too much on the visuals for him (laughing). What were your thoughts on the documentary?

Vanity Perkins: (Laughing). I loved the documentary simply just to hear him speak. I never really heard him speak aside from at Kobe’s service. I never really heard him speak. I was kind of infatuated with that. I was infatuated with his looks too (laughing). I loved how they were able to just be themselves on the court. I loved the whole thing. I was tuned-in every Sunday with him with my Jordan’s on. He made me wear a different pair of Jordan’s every Sunday to watch. It was good.

That’s a great point because outside of, Oprah, Ahmad Rashad and maybe Peter Vecsey… I’m not sure who else he had conducted an interview with. So, it was definitely a pleasure to see him so open.

Vanity Perkins: And I never even seen those interviews, so I was really excited to watch.

You mentioned Kobe Bryant’s service earlier. I know the Bryant Family meant a lot to your family. For Kobe and GiGi to lose their lives, it seemed like it was the beginning of what has been a tumultuous 2020. Your thoughts on their passing.

Vanity Perkins: You know this was so hard. That was maybe the hardest thing we had to deal with this year. Obviously, now there are all kinds of new things to deal with, but that was hard. It was more so watching, Kendrick and the way he took it and how hurt he was. As a mom and a wife, just feeling for, Vanessa. We stayed up late nights… it was like the world stopped in our home. We didn’t have TV’s on, we were all just looking around, we cried, and we were just in a daze. I actually felt very weak. And then when you think you can try to move on, every time you get on social media it was on, it was on commercials and his anniversary and then GiGi’s birthday. I needed it to be over because I needed to move on mentally. It drained me and I was just so sad like never before. It really affected our household a lot. My heart goes out to Vanessa. I couldn’t imagine. I thought about it and I couldn’t imagine that being me and how I would handle it.

There are very few deaths that I hear about I can’t believe. I needed a lot of confirmation to finally come to grips with it being reality.

Vanity Perkins: I was hoping it was one of those silly hoaxes. Somebody talking too fast and don’t really know.

When Kendrick was an active player in the league, did it hinder some of the things you wanted to do in terms of started your own career or business because of the uncertainty with free agency and the way trades work?

Vanity Perkins: It’s constant. We never felt secure in the area we were living in at the time. There were many things I wanted to do like you were saying, but I just couldn’t do it. You can be traded or anything. I’m from Texas, so I could never leave a business in Boston and think I can run it from Texas. I did open something in Oklahoma, and we got traded, so that’s why I never wanted to do anything like that until he retired, and we were home, and I knew we would be here. I’m looking to open something now. it was always uncertainty. Even going to college, I went to college in Boston, and we got traded and my credits wouldn’t transfer. It was like a standstill. It’s always a standstill with the NBA.

How different is his scheduling from player to analyst?

Vanity Perkins: He’s not going to too many different places now, so I have adjusted to it. He’s either in LA, Connecticut or New York the most. I either go with him or if it doesn’t fit my schedule, but if not, it’s not too bad. I’m used to it, so it’s cool.

What would you like to get into now that you feel more secure and settled back in Texas?

Vanity Perkins: It will probably be some type of boutique. I did that before and I would love to do it again. But I’m open to doing anything. I’m doing real estate right now, so I want to be a builder as well.

I appreciate the time, Vanity. I wish you well with everything and I’m sure any project you attach your name to, it will be a success. Is there anything else you want to say before I let you go?

Vanity Perkins: You can find me on Instagram @_queenvanity and on Facebook at Vanity Alpough-Perkins. I appreciate the opportunity, Percy.



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