Amid the Brooklyn Nets’ struggles in the postseason, critics have been calling out Kevin Durant for failing to put on a stellar performance to lift his team. The latest to slam Durant is NBA icon Charles Barkley, who called out the former MVP’s two title rings with the Golden State Warriors.
Durant, the bus rider
Barkley called Durant a “bus rider” for his decision to join the 73-win Warriors squad in the summer of 2016. For Chuck, Durant has no right to call himself a champion since he wasn’t the one who carried the team to two titles. He simply joined a team that was already on the way to success.
Barkley didn't start his monologue with the intention of calling out Durant. The guys were analyzing Trae Young, which prompted Chuck to talk about what it means to be a great player. “Don't tell me you a great player if they can slow you down. All these guys know how to play, but please don't tell me you a great player and you averaging 20.” Kenny just jumped in and asked a logical question. Does that mean Kevin Durant isn't a great player?
“I don’t want to bad mouth the dude. So you guys talk all about that championship stuff. I tried to tell y’all. All these bus riders, they don’t mean nothing to me. If you ain’t driving the bus, don’t walk around talking about you’re a champion. If you’re riding the bus, I don’t want to hear it. When you’re the bus driver and you got all that pressure that you have to play well or you’re going to get the blame, that’s a different animal.”
Charles Barkley, Inside the NBA
The weakest move a superstar could make
Durant’s decision to join the Steph Curry and the Warriors attracted much controversy. A hoard of analysts called it one of the weakest moves an NBA player could make. Some believed that it would haunt Durant’s basketball career for the rest of his life.
After two titles in three seasons, Durant decided to leave The Bay. He initially said that he simply wanted to form his own team, to have a change in scenery. But as insider reports came in, it turned out that Durant’s relationship with the Warriors had turned sour. He admitted later on that he wasn’t pleased with Steve Kerr’s motion-heavy offense. In KD's opinion, iso-ball and superstar-centric sets are the plays that lead to a successful playoff campaign.
Amid his struggles in Brooklyn, people are reminding Durant of what he said. People say he should have stayed with the Warriors, especially with how the team is performing now. LeBron James fans have been slandering his name in favor of the King. The two are considered the two best players of their era. But given Durant’s struggles, fans believe he should never be mentioned in the same sentence as James.
Durant and the Nets are down 0-3 to an invigorated Celtics squad. Fans would love to say that if there’s a player that’s capable of accomplishing a 0-3 comeback, it is Kevin Durant. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.