Suns’ Kevin Durant Responds To Charles Barkley Saying He’s A Follower And Not A Leader

During a TruTV alternative broadcast of the 2024 NBA All-Star Game, Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said Phoenix Suns superstar Kevin Durant is a follower and not a leader. 

Kevin Durant, Suns, NBA, Charles Barkley

Barkley has been critical of Durant ever since KD joined the 73-9 Golden State Warriors in 2016. 

“No disrespect to Kevin. Kevin’s a follower. He’s not a leader. He’s proven that on all his stops,” Barkley said. 

Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder blew a 3-1 lead to the Warriors in the 2016 Western Conference Finals. Golden State lost the 2016 NBA Finals to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games and Durant joined the Dubs in the summer of 2016. 

The Warriors won back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018, with Durant winning both Finals MVPs. However, KD hasn’t gotten back to the NBA Finals since leaving the Warriors in the summer of 2019. 

In a wide-ranging interview for Boardroom, a platform owned by Durant, KD was asked by his agent, Rich Kleiman, about Barkley’s comments. 

“I don’t feel like I want people to call me a leader,” Durant said. “But I also don’t want people to say I’m not one either because they don’t see what goes on behind the scenes of what I talk about or my intentions or relationships that I’ve built with my teammates and my support staff.”

Barkley has been negatively vocal about Durant and his departures from teams. In an interview with CBS in March 2023, Barkley called Durant “very sensitive” and “part of a generation that can’t be criticized.”

Durant didn’t win a title with the Brooklyn Nets despite playing with Kyrie Irving and James Harden. Only time will tell if the Texas product wins a ring in Phoenix with Devin Booker and Bradley Beal

“I’m not as charismatic as my peers,” Durant said. “I don’t have a personality that’s fit for TV like my peers. You’ve got to sell what you’re doing as well and I haven’t sold it enough. I don’t feel like I need to. I don’t feel like I need people to call me a leader, but I also don’t feel like I want people to say I’m not one either.”

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