When Charles Barkley called Kevin Durant a “bus rider” on NBA championship teams, Durant said it all with photos of Barkley’s own former teams.
Criticism deserves context: only the greatest players in NBA history have the right to call out fellow players if their game is lacking.
Though Charles Barkley is absolutely qualified to comment on another player’s game, perhaps he should sit out conversations discerning who qualifies as a deserving NBA champion.
According to Complex, Barkley recently said that Kevin Durant, a two-time NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors, was a “bus rider” who hitched a ride to the championship while Golden State was building a formidable dynasty.
"“I don’t want to badmouth the dude [Durant], but you guys are always talking about that championship stuff,” Barkley said. “I tried to tell y’all, all these bus riders, they don’t mean nothing to me. If you ain’t driving the bus, don’t walk around telling me you a champion. All these guys walking around with these championship rings, hey, y’all bus riders. When you’re the bus driver and you’ve got all that pressure when you have to play well or you’re going to get the blame, that’s a different animal.”"
Durant offered his own retort without saying anything at all. Since pictures speak a thousand words, Durant posted vintage photos of Barkley alongside Houston Rockets teammates who, according to Durant, propelled his own NBA performance.
Where would Chuck be without the big homies,” Durant wrote, referencing a stellar squad that included Clyde Drexler, Scottie Pippen and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Kevin Durant calls out Charles Barkley for “bus rider” comment
Barkley’s comment isn’t all that surprising, considering that Barkley belongs to a different era of basketball. The real critique here is that Durant lacks the loyalty of staying with a particular team, instead appearing to chase championships with Golden State before venturing off to the Brooklyn Nets in another attempt to build a superteam.
The Nets experiment has yet to result in a championship, and their 0-4 stretch against the Boston Celtics certainly doesn’t bode well for Durant and his teammates.
It’s true that Durant’s ability was enhanced by the strong team he was surrounded by in San Francisco, but calling Kevin Durant a “bus rider” is certainly a stretch with all that’s gone wrong in Brooklyn this season.