Charles Barkley said LeBron winning tonight would move him close to Kobe, but he would still be 7th on his all-time list. Not a typo, he has him 7th. That’s quite radical, and we went into Barkley’s reasoning already, but one of his points was the one about leadership. It’s not the same if you’re leading, or following.
In the interview, Dan Patrick tried to counter Barkley and pointed out most players won a title next to another great player. Rarely has a superstar won without another star next to him – only Dirk Nowitzki comes to mind. Sir Charles agreed, but he feels the way LeBron assembled his teams is detrimental to his standing. Then this happened.
Patrick: Yeah, but we’ve seen that with great players.Charles Barkley, The Dan Patrick show
Barkley: Like who??
Patrick: That have manufactured their teams? Kevin Durant did.
Barkley: That’s why he’s not on my list!!
Patrick then challenged Barkley about counting Steph’s titles won with KD, but not doing it the other way around. Barkley’s first point was that Steph won with Golden State before KD arrived. Curry grew with the team and led them to a title.
Patrick tried to make the point players in the past would’ve moved in free agency the way LeBron and KD did if they could. In Bill Russell’s time, he had multiple Hall of Famers on his team, and there was no free agency. But Barkley was having none of that.
Yeah, but none of those guys are on my list. Only Bill Russell’s on my list. I don’t count those other guys. They’re bus riders, not bus drivers. … When I’m talking about my Mr.Rushmore, you have to be a bus driver, not a bus rider. Kevin Durant is still a bus rider until he wins one in Brooklyn.Charles Barkley, The Dan Patrick show
There you have it. To be in Barkley’s top echelon, you have to win as a leader. Someone who not only does his part on the court but creates chemistry makes players around him better. According to Chuck, Kevin Durant is yet to do that.
This is something KD will have to accept. He is a great player, but Durant still didn’t prove he can be the foundation of a winning culture that results in a championship. That’s the hardest thing to do, and I’m not so optimistic things in Brooklyn are moving in that direction.