Charles Barkley Called Out Kevin Durant With 'Bus Driver' Comments, And The NBA Player Clapped Back

Kevin Durant and Charles Barkley
(Image credit: Netflix/TNT)

Any basketball fan who has watched Charles Barkley share his two cents on the current state of the game (or anything else for that matter) surely knows that he doesn’t mince words. His direct, and sometimes blunt, approach can be entertaining for those watching at home, but it sometimes tends to rub some people the wrong way. Just recently, Barkley called out Kevin Durant – who he’s never truly seen eye to eye with – while making an analogy involving a “bus driver.” But Durant couldn’t let the comments go unanswered, as he’s now clapped back. 

Just last week, the Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant’s former team, defeated the Boston Celtics (who swept Durant’s Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs). Charles Barkley discussed Golden State’s victory during a segment on ESPN’s Get Up, during which talk turned to Durant. While discussing the two-time NBA champion, Barkley asserted that Durant won’t get the same level of respect that other great players have earned until he becomes the “bus driver” of a championship team: 

Kobe Bryant said, ‘I had to win a championship without Shaq.’ LeBron James said, ‘I had to win a championship without [Dwayne] Wade and Chris Bosh. That’s the way this thing works. Before KD gets that great respect from all the old heads, he’s going to have to win a championship as the bus driver. Listen, he joined that team that already won a championship, no disrespect, that’s just a fact. … KD’s an all-time hell of a player, but until he is the guy on a championship, we’re not going to ever give him the respect that he probably deserves. The game hasn’t changed. Kobe said it, LeBron said it, and so we’re going to hold him to the same high standard.

Since Charles Barkley made the comments, sports fans have apparently been debating whether they truly have merit. NBA players have also joined in on the discussion, including CJ McColllum, who defended Kevin Durant. However, the Brooklyn Net had no problem speaking up for himself. The fan-favorite athlete took to Twitter to share his response to the analogy and, like Barkley, he didn’t hold back:

All this shit is nasty, another terrible analogy from a hatin old head that can’t accept that we making more bread than them. It’s just timing Chucky, don’t hate the playa

Tell us how you really feel, KD. The former league MVP has long been praised and criticized over the course of his illustrious career. While many regard him as one of the game’s greatest players, some still seem to take issue with some of his career choices. As the Inside the NBA analyst’s comments allude to, one point of contention was his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016 and join a stacked Golden State team. Despite this, it is worth mentioning that the “Slim Reaper” was the Finals MVP during each of those championship titles, so he put in more than his fair share of the work.

Charles Barkley has been a part of some interesting situations, with both current players and his own contemporaries. A few months ago, the Round Mound of Rebound clapped back at Scottie Pippen after the former Chicago Bull took shots at Michael Jordan. The Philadelphia 76ers legend later shared more thoughts on Pippen, who once questioned his toughness.

It’s safe to say that this won’t be the last time that Charles Barkley weighs in on the NBA superstar’s career (or the last time that Kevin Durant is roasted or critiqued by anyone else). He and the Brooklyn Nets have a lot to prove in the upcoming season, and I’ll be one of the many watching to see if he does indeed establish himself as the squad’s “bus driver.”

While you wait for all of the NBA action to return, you can find other small-screen viewing options via CinemaBlend’s 2022 TV schedule.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.