Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant is always a hot topic of discussion, especially when it comes to the topic of competitiveness and stacking the deck in the NBA. During a recent interview with NBA personality Joy De’Angela, Hall of Famer Julius Erving sounded off on the Suns’ superstar and did not hold back.
“Look how many times Durant has hopped around,” Erving said about the Suns forward.
“The prisoners are running the show and not the warden. It’s where the star player on the team is like, ‘Screw this city and all this support that they’ve given me and I’m going south, I’m going to Florida, I’m going to LA or I’m going to Texas or I’m going somewhere else. They’re business decisions, understand, but they have not helped the game.”
Charles Barkley Goes off on ‘Insecure’ Kevin Durant
Durant’s knack for joining already talented teams to chase championships has rubbed a lot of NBA OGs the wrong way. The problem is based on the thought that titles should be earned the hard way, and not by stacking the deck to the point that there is no competition. One Hall of Famer that has been particularly critical of the two-time NBA Finals MVP is “Inside the NBA” Host Charles Barkley.
Barkley and other retired players have previously taken jabs at Durant for failing to win a title outside of the two he won in 2017 and 2018 with the Warriors.
In a recent interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, Barkley called Durant “insecure” for getting so upset when people make comments about him.
“I actually like Kevin; I think he is a great player. I think he is actually a good dude — I think he’s insecure at times,” Barkley said. “You know, he gets mad when the old guys like myself say that he has got to win a championship outside of the Golden State Warriors. And I know he got offended by that but it’s not my job to worry about people’s feelings.”
Barkley also weighed in on Durant’s tendency to get into online bouts with fans. He assured Durant that some things are not worth responding to.
“You don’t have to react to every fool,” Barkley added. “When I talk about insecurities, everybody’s opinion doesn’t matter. You don’t need burner phones. You’re Kevin Durant. You can say whatever the hell you want to. But you don’t have to react to every single thing.”
Kevin Durant Has Long History of Super Teams
Whether or not you agree with the criticisms against Durant, there is no denying that there is some truth to his playing on overly-talented teams. In fact, you could argue that he has spent most of his career playing on super teams.
He started his career in Oklahoma City, playing with prime Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka. The trio made it to the NBA Finals in 2012, where they lost to another super team in LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat.
Durant parted ways with the Thunder in July 2016 and joined the Golden State Warriors months after losing to them in the Western Conference Finals. Durant won two NBA Finals MVPs and two championships with the Warriors.
Durant left the Warriors in 2019 and joined the Brooklyn Nets to join his long-time friend Kyrie Irving. Durant did not make his Nets debut until the 2020 season after rupturing his Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals, but just months after the 2020-21 season began, Harden rejoined Durant after the Houston Rockets traded him to Brooklyn.
The Nets did not have much postseason success for a myriad of reasons. And after trading Irving this past February, the Suns granted Durant his trade demand to the Suns.
It may be the less traditional route, but it has guaranteed the star forward a ticket to the Hall of Fame when he retires.