Kevin Durant's career has often been under the microscope, and his leadership quality has been questioned. His inability to lead a team to an NBA championship remains an issue that lingers over him.
On "The Big Podcast," Shaquille O'Neal shared his thoughts on Durant's leadership as the best player in the league. Asked if he agreed with Charles Barkley's comments on the Brooklyn Nets forward's career being an abject failure, O'Neal responded in the affirmative.
He referenced the 2012 NBA Finals, when KD and the OKC Thunder lost to the Miami Heat after going 3-1 up in the series. Shaq based his response on Durant's inability to close out the series with a lone game. He said KD was not the leader in his time with the Golden State Warriors, saying that he was only afforded a front seat on the bus.
"Yeah! If you go back and look at his career and being the leader and all that goes with that," O'Neal said. "We were there. We saw OKC up 3-1. One more game, when you're the guy, all the pressure goes on you. A lot of people were talking about the bus driver. Chuck was absolutely right. He was not driving the bus in Golden State. You were on the bus; he was sitting up front.
"So, when guys like us go, "Whoa, whoa, whoa," and you win and we don't respect it. Don't get mad at us. That's how we feel. This is the attitude that Kevin Durant is going to say, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, I got this many points and I got this and I got that." We not talking about that.
"When you the guy, in championship moments, can you take it to that next level? We haven't seen that yet."
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Charles Barkley strongly believes Kevin Durant's career has been an abject failure
After 14 seasons in the league, Kevin Durant has two championships under his belt. He clinched both in his three seasons with the Golden State Warriors.
Since his exit from the Warriors in 2019, he is yet to compete for the title with the Brooklyn Nets. Charles Barkley had questioned Durant's career and designated his title wins as insignificant, calling his career an "abject failure."
"He’s been an abject failure. Every time he’s had to be the leader and best player, he has not had success," Barkley said. "That’s what us old guys think about him."