TNT analyst Charles Barkley called out Nets star Kevin Durant over the Warriors’ championship runs in 2017 and 2018.
It’s well-documented that Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant came under unrelenting scrutiny from the media after he choose to sign with the Golden State Warriors in the summer of 2016, destroying what was left of the NBA’s parity in the process as they won back-to-back titles before falling just short of a three-peat in 2019.
While that notion left a sour taste in the mouths of basketball fans, the majority were left more enraged at the fact that Durant sold out in choosing to join a championship side that just came back from a 3-1 deficit in the Conference Finals to eliminate his Thunder team months earlier.
As polarizing as that decision was, were are over four years removed from it, and Durant has more than served his time as the proverbial punching bag of salty media members and keyboard-hugging fans. However, that didn’t stop TNT analyst Charles Barkley from flaming the two-time Finals MVP over his stint in the Bay Area.
During a recent appearance on the “Dan Patrick Show,” Barkley asserted that Durant will be looked upon as a “bus rider” until he brings a championship to the city of Brooklyn.
This wholly unnecessary shot at Durant further proves that Barkley still hasn’t forgiven him for signing with a juggernaut Warriors team that won a championship just two years before his arrival.
The “Inside the NBA” co-host loves nothing more than holding a grudge, but we’re honestly surprised he’s still harping on this topic. For starters, Durant was very much driving the bus during Golden State’s title runs in both 2017 and 2018.
On a team with a trio of proven playoff performers — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green — Durant was clearly the best player. In 2017, he averaged 35.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists while shooting 55.6% from the floor and 47.4% on threes. The following year he averaged 28.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists with .526/.409/.963 shooting splits.
Those otherworldly performances had many fans convinced that Durant was on the verge of taking the “best player in the world” mantle from LeBron James. However, a torn Achilles suffered against Toronto in the 2019 Finals put that engaging debate on hold.
Speaking of which, KD evidently playing injured in that series saw him win back the respect of those who loathed his ring-chasing move to Golden State, so we’re not so sure what Barkley still has against him.
After all, it’s not like Barkley was speaking from experience. Need we remind the people that he, for as great as he was, never won a championship during his Hall of Fame career? With that glaring fact in mind, he really has some nerve for putting Durant on blast after he was the undisputed best playoff performer on the 2017 and 2018 Warriors.
As if Barkley wouldn’t have joined the Bulls if he’d had the chance.