Charles Barkley: Kevin Durant needs to win NBA title as ‘bus driver’

Kevin Durant may step on the gas after hearing this.

Charles Barkley, the NBA Hall of Famer turned popular basketball analyst, said Durant needs to be the “bus driver” of his team to gain respect among the “old heads.”

“Until he is the guy on a championship, we’re not going to ever give him the respect that he probably deserves,” Barkley said on ESPN’s “Get Up!” on Friday. “The game hasn’t changed. Kobe said it, LeBron said it, we’re going to hold him to the same high standard.”

The comment came just days after the Warriors captured their first title since Durant left Golden State to sign with the Nets in 2019.

Durant has been called out about his legacy plenty of times before, but Golden State, which was one of the league’s worst teams after the former league MVP left three seasons ago, rebounded fully without him. 

The Warriors, who had won a championship in 2015, signed Durant in July 2016, and he won back-to-back titles with Golden State in 2017 and 2018.

“[Durant] joined that team that already won a championship, no disrespect, that’s just a fact,” Barkley said.

Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley
Zuffa LLC
Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Durant, who won the league’s MVP award in 2014 with the Thunder won two Finals MVP awards with the Warriors, though he was playing alongside another superstar, Stephen Curry. For the Warriors’ title win over the Celtics this season, Curry won his first MVP award.

While the Warriors are now back on top, the Nets have not been able to get past the Eastern Conference semifinals since Durant’s arrival.

The Nets were eliminated in the first round during this year’s playoffs by the Celtics, though Brooklyn had a roster that included Durant and Kyrie Irving and a sizable number of former stars such as Blake Griffin.

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