Kevin Durant has been to the NBA Finals four times, winning the O’Brien Trophy twice, both times as the Finals MVP. He has switched teams twice, going from Oklahoma City to Golden State to Brooklyn. His preferred means of communication is social media.
Charles Barkley went to the NBA Finals once and lost. He too switched teams twice, going from Philadelphia to Phoenix to Houston. His preferred means of communication is TNT on NBA.
They either don’t like each other or make a pretty good show of it. They have a history. And they have been going at it again this week with Sir Charles once again suggesting, as have spurned Warrior fans, that KD wasn’t the “bus driver” on Golden State’s championship drives. Rather, the implication was that Steph Curry who won a ring before Durant arrived had the wheel. It’s stupid. Durant was twice MVP of the Finals.
It started after the Nets went down 3-0 to the Celtics over the weekend with this comment from Barkley. The 11-time All-Star forward referred to the 12-time All-Star forward as a “bus rider,” saying, “If you ain’t driving the bus, don’t walk around talkin’ ‘bout you a champion!”
As one might expect, KD took to social media Tuesday morning — not long after the Nets lost to the Celtics — in an only slightly cryptic manner. As Sports Illustrated noted...
On his Instagram story, Durant appeared to respond to Barkley’s “bus rider” criticism by posting a series of photos of Chuck alongside other NBA All-Stars during his playing career. The first two pictures showed Barkley standing next to the likes of fellow Hall of Famers Scottie Pippen, Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler during his stint with the Rockets at the tail end of his career.
He did not use the term “ring chaser,” but you get the point. Considering previous feuds between the two, it got attention...
KD fires back at Charles Barkley for ring chasing pic.twitter.com/3KSMq1OyBC— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) April 26, 2022
KD, as is his devilish want, went further. He posted a picture of Barkley with stars like Julius Erving, Moses Malone and Maurice Cheeks from his early days with the 76ers. “Where would Chuck be without the big homies,” Durant wrote alongside the picture. Touche’.
KD continues to go after Charles Barkley pic.twitter.com/WUtuaK8TSp— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) April 26, 2022
And no, it didn’t end there. Things were set up for a Barkley response on Thursday night and WorldWideWob, aka Rob Perez, was among those who believed TNT would mount an aggressive — and no doubt petty — comeback.
it’s ok to defend yourself, but the mistake KD made was doing this in the morning and giving Inside time to prepare. they have an army of producers experienced in the art of pettiness. theyre going to be in photoshop all day. those stage directors probably setting up for a band.— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 26, 2022
Durant was not impressed...
An army of producers against the god. Just Another Tuesday https://t.co/yxHlYT8Efl— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) April 26, 2022
Durant referring to himself as a god, even if tongue in cheek, got some riled up, particularly considering his less-than-divine performance in the first round sweep by the Celtics. Whatever.
I don’t get why you guys are so mad at what I call myself. It’s about good affirmations right? Be happy for me https://t.co/DqPhwbd8Gs— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) April 26, 2022
So, how’d it go? Later Tuesday night, Barkley along with the rest of the TNT crew — Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson — engaged in a conversation about being the driver on a championship bus. To say it was a well-produced piece of television, even on cable, would be wrong...
"KD's a great player. The only point I was making: Life is different when you're driving the bus."— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 26, 2022
–– Charles Barkley in response to Kevin Durant
They talked over each other and seemed to dismiss Kenny’s accomplishments with Shaq and Sir Charles noting that unlike them he was not the lead guy when he was with the Rockets. Maybe so, but Smith was a two-time NBA champion playing with Hakeem Olajuwon. Again, whatever.
KD provided a timely review...
@WorldWideWob fire the producers— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) April 26, 2022
Was that the last word? OF COURSE NOT!
Late Tuesday, TNT aired a well-produced video of the Nets heading off to Cancun. (The Nets seem to prefer Turks & Caicos, but that’s a story for another time.)
The Brooklyn bus is off to Cancun pic.twitter.com/7lz2FNgLrC— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 27, 2022
Early Wednesday morning, the TNT producers tried again. They staged a bus ride, trying to capitalize on the controversy.
“You gotta drive the bus!”— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 27, 2022
Chuck got to be the bus driver & drove the Inside crew through a gate pic.twitter.com/6SYKcZr8E0
KD has not (yet) responded, but he made it plain that he’s not leaving social media. On Monday morning, he tweeted this in response to a fan...
I’m not bouta delete my twitter fam, fuck that lol— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) April 27, 2022
Indeed, the world would be a lesser place if he did. Trolling is a skill too.
- Charles Barkley escalates war of words with Kevin Durant - Jenna Lemoncelli - New York Post