Charles Barkley slamming a current player for something he did? We’ve seen it before. We saw it again Wednesday.
Barkley, the crossover star and TNT analyst, went on the Mike and Mike show on ESPN Radio and said this about Durant’s move:
“Kevin is a terrific player, he’s a good kid. But just disappointed with the fact that he weakened another team and he’s gonna kind of gravy train on a terrific Warriors team. Just disappointed from a competitive standpoint. Because just like it meant more to LeBron to win one in Cleveland, it would mean more to Kevin to win one in Oklahoma than it would be in Golden State.”
Plenty of people feel that way. Here’s where the hypocrisy comes in for Barkley: When his relationship soured with the Suns around 1995, he demanded a trade — to a contender. Specifically, he told the Suns to trade him to one of a few teams (and was very public about it) or he would retire. The Suns relented and sent him to the Houston Rockets with Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. One of the few teams considered any kind of threat to Jordan’s Bulls.
Charles Barkley went ring hunting.
Now he calls Durant out for the same thing. We as fans can’t say “rings are all that matter” then question why a guy would make a move that makes it more likely he gets a ring.
Barkley then goes on to speak some truth — the entire “rings” argument and culture rings hollow. Championships are not the only or even best measure of a player.
“We develop this thing where you keep telling these guys, ‘Hey man, if you don’t win a championship you’re a bum.’ I don’t feel like a bum,” he said. “I’m pretty sure Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone and John Stockton — we think we’re pretty damn good. We could have played with some of those other guys and kind of cheated our way to a championship. But there is this thing that started with this new generation where these guys feel so much pressure. Everybody wants to win.”