Kevin Durant claps back after latest critique from Charles Barkley: ‘I don’t need no credit from y’all’
Kevin Durant is widely regarded as 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 Durant failed to lead those teams to championships because Golden State was already built to contend prior to his arrival.
The 13-time All-Star doesn't seem to care what Barkley thinks.
“It's not gonna stop me and how I approach the game,” Durant said of the critique.
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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 did not say this. (He said), ‘I had to win a championship without Dwyane Wade to get old heads’ respect.’ Kobe Bryant said this, too. He said, ‘I have to win a championship without Shaq to get these old heads off my back.’ I hold Kevin Durant to the same criteria. I don’t care what the media says. I don’t care what the fans say.”
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Chuck did acknowledge Durant was already one of the greatest players in the history of the league.
“He’s an all-time great. But when it comes to being mentioned with some of these other guys, he’s gonna have to win a championship where he’s the leader of the team and he’s the best player,” he added.
Durant rarely can resist the urge to respond to critics, and he told Yahoo! Sports he does not seek validation from former players like Barkley or Shaquille O’Neal.
“Because, at this point, they’re saying, ‘Go play with Scoot Henderson and win a championship, and then we’ll give you credit,’” Durant said. “I don’t need no credit from y’all, no credit from (Barkley), no credit from Shaq. Y’all don’t ever have to watch me play ever again. Don’t talk about me if you don’t (rock) with me. I’m not gonna stop doing what I do. Everybody has their opinions, man.”
Henderson is a 19-year-old playing for the NBA G League Ignite. He is expected to be a top pick in this year's NBA Draft.
Durant said Suns head coach Monty Williams is the leader of the team, not him.
“As far as leading a team, I don’t need to coach no team,” Durant added. “Whatever happens, we do it together. (Monty’s) the leader, he’s the coach. The GM puts the team together. I’m supposed to go out and hoop. 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 s— is nasty, another terrible analogy from a hatin old head that can’t accept that we making more bread than them,” Durant said in a June 2022 tweet. “It’s just timing Chucky, don’t hate the playa.”
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Barkley spent four seasons with the Suns, the team that landed Durant in a blockbuster trade. Durant joins stars Chris Paul and Devin Booker in Phoenix.