Kevin Durant is widely considered one of the best players in the NBA, but Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said the star forward has to win a title with the Suns to be considered an all-time great.
Durant won two championship rings with the Warriors and is a two-time Finals MVP. But Chuck maintains that Durant failed to lead those teams to championships because Golden State was already built to compete before he came along.
The 13-time All-Star doesn’t seem to care what Barkley thinks.
«It won’t stop me or my approach to the game,» Durant said of the criticism.
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Barkley reiterated his position on Durant during an appearance on ESPN’s «First Take» earlier this week.
«Kevin gets mad at me when I point this out,» Barkley said. «If you go back and look at LeBron (James), who I really admire and respect, he said this. I didn’t say this. (He said), ‘I had to win a championship without Dwyane Wade to have old heads’ respect.’ Kobe Bryant said this too. He said, ‘I’ve got to win a championship without Shaq to get these old heads off my back.’ I hold Kevin Durant to the same standards. I don’t care what the media says. I don’t care what the media say. fanatics».
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Chuck acknowledged that Durant was already one of the best players in league history.
«He’s an all-time great. But when it comes to being mentioned with some of these other guys, he’s going to have to win a championship where he’s the leader of the team and the best player.»
Durant can rarely resist responding to criticism, telling Yahoo! Deportes doesn’t seek validation from former players like Barkley or Shaquille O’Neal.
«Because, at this point, they’re like, ‘Go play Scoot Henderson and win a championship, and then we’ll give you credit,'» Durant said. «I don’t need any credit from you, no credit from (Barkley), no credit from Shaq. You guys don’t have to watch me play ever again. Don’t talk about me if you don’t.» you (rock) with me. I will not stop doing what I do. Everyone has their opinions, man.»
Henderson is a 19-year-old who plays for the NBA G League Ignite. He is expected to be one of the first picks in this year’s NBA Draft.
Durant said Suns coach Monty Williams is the team leader, not him.
«As far as leading a team, I don’t need to coach any team,» Durant added. «No matter what, we do it together. (Monty) is the leader, he’s the coach. The GM brings the team together. I’m supposed to go out there and play. That’s my job.»
Last year, Barkley even called Durant a «bus rider,» and Durant took to Twitter to respond to the criticism.
“All this sh*t is disgusting, another terrible analogy of a hated old man who can’t take us making more bread than them,” Durant said in a June 2022 tweet. “It’s just timing Chucky, don’t hate the beach».
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Barkley spent four seasons with the Suns, the team that landed Durant in a highly successful trade. Durant joins stars Chris Paul and Devin Booker in Phoenix.