Since being selected as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant has made his own name in the league. In his 15 years in the NBA, Durant became an MVP, two-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP, Rookie of the Year, 12-time NBA All-Star, six-time All-NBA First Team, and a four-time All-NBA Second Team. However, despite all his accomplishments, Durant is still having a hard time earning the respect of some NBA veterans, including NBA Hall of Famer and analyst Charles Barkley.
Shaquille O'Neal Sides With Charles Barkley In His Controversial Beef With Kevin Durant
Charles Barkley Talks About Kevin Durant's Legacy
Barkley recently started a feud with Durant when he made a controversial comment about his legacy. Durant may have managed to win two NBA championship titles with the Golden State Warriors, but Barkley doesn't think that he already deserves to be in the same conversation as other NBA greats such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. Barkley said that Durant won't earn the respect of the "old heads" until he wins another NBA championship title as the "bus driver" of the team.
Kevin Durant Responds To Charles Barkley
Though Durant played a major role in the Warriors' championship run in 2017 and 2018, Barkley believes that during those seasons, he wasn't the team's main guy. Durant clearly didn't like Barkley's comments about his legacy and took a shot at him on Twitter.
"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 tweeted. "It’s just timing Chucky, don’t hate the playa."
Shaquille O'Neal Supports Charles Barkley
While Durant earned support from the likes of retired NBA player JJ Redick and New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard CJ McCollum, some "old heads" in the NBA have decided to take the side of Barkley. In an episode of The Big Podcast with Shaq, Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal explained why he decided to go with Barkley on his ongoing feud with Durant.
"Back in our day, you had to compete to get that respect," O'Neal said. "Now, the way Mr. KD (Kevin Durant) did it, it was sort of in an old school way. They lose to a team, then he joins that team that beat him. Then he wins 2 championships. He made it easier. I understand everybody’s philosophy and thought process, but I’m going to have to go with Chuck (Charles Barkley) on this one.”
Can Kevin Durant Still Win As The 'Bus Driver'?
Durant still has time to earn the respect of Barkley, O'Neal, and other "old heads" in the league. Durant may already be 33, but he's still playing at an All-Star level. Unlike in Golden State, he's currently considered the "bus driver" of the Nets' team that is aiming to end their decades of title drought.
However, though they managed to convince Kyrie Irving to return in the 2022-23 NBA season, the Nets' road to the 2023 NBA championship title won't be easy, especially with the emergence of numerous powerhouse teams in the league. If they are serious about achieving their main goal next season, the Nets should find a way to give Durant and Irving a better supporting cast this summer.