Count Charles Barkley among those who are not fans of Kevin Durant opting to sign with the Golden State Warriors instead of re-signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Barkley said Durant is jumping on the Golden State Warriors “gravy train” to win a title and said he doesn’t feel like a “bum,” because he didn’t “cheat” his way to one in his career.
On ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike on Wednesday Barkley made some bold comments about Durant’s decision:
“I was disappointed. I was disappointed like I was disappointed when LeBron went to Miami,” Barkley said. “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.”
Barkley’s Hall of Fame career spanned 16 seasons playing for teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. Despite never winning an NBA Championship, Barkley believes it doesn’t make him any less 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.
“I’m a big Chris Paul fan. I’m sure Chris Paul wants to win a championship. And he could, when his contract is up, go join one of these super teams and get a championship. But it won’t be the same as leading your team where you’re the bus driver instead of the bus rider.”
Barkley’s comments may seem a bit odd considering he formed a “Big 3” with Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler on the Houston Rockets, pushing for a trade from Phoenix in the later years of his career.
Before he was officially traded, Barkley said: “The best thing about it would be getting the chance to play with Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. We would be very formidable,”
To be fair, Barkley demanded to be traded twice in his career. Once while in Philly and the other time in Phoenix, which led to his trade to the Houston Rockets who just came off winning back-to-back NBA titles.
Barkley also spoke about the current free agency system and how he views it as a negative.
“We’re gonna have guys on bad teams making $25 million a year. And we’re going to have three or four competitive teams,” Barkley said. “That’s the negative of LeBron going to Miami, KD going to Golden State.
“First of all the fans love their teams, they love sports. But they’re not going to go see Sacramento, Indiana, Miami, these bad teams where guys are making 10, 20, 30 million dollars a year and they don’t have a chance to compete. I mean, that’s where we’re going. We’re going to kill the golden goose. Everybody’s going to be making a lot of money, but other than five teams we’re going to be putting a shabby product out there. That’s what’s going to kill the NBA in the next few years in my opinion.”