Charles Barkley: Kevin Durant trying to ‘cheat his way into a championship’
Many people have criticized Kevin Durant for taking the easy way out by joining an already championship-caliber Golden State Warriors team. Charles Barkley feels what Durant has done goes beyond that.
During an appearance on “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on Wednesday, Barkley said Durant’s decision to sign with the Warriors as a free agent is basically cheating.
"Kevin Durant is trying to cheat his way into a championship."
– Charles Barkley pic.twitter.com/vf6hUC1TI6
— Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) July 6, 2016
Since we really don’t need to get into why Durant signing with Golden State is in no way cheating, let’s instead examine how hypocritical of a statement that is coming from Barkley.
In August of 1996, Barkley was traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Houston Rockets. While you might think a trade is out of a player’s control, Barkley openly admitted at the time that he forced his way to Houston, noting that he “called the shots” and threatened to retire if the Suns didn’t send him where he wanted to go.
Of course, the Rockets had won NBA titles in 1994 and 1995. So what was Barkley doing by forcing his way to Houston late in his career? He explained it very clearly at the time.
“At this stage of my career, I’m not a great player. I’m a good player,” Barkley said after the trade in 1996. “But with Hakeem (Olajuwon) and Clyde (Drexler), I have a great shot at a championship.”
Barkley still never won a ring, and that is how many people define his career. As our man LB explained in his rant defending Durant (video here), our glorification of winning championships at all costs is the reason K.D. felt he had to leave Oklahoma City. What Durant is doing is no different from what Barkley did 20 years ago. Perhaps Sir Charles is jealous that K.D. still has a shot at being crowned a champion.