Kevin Durant’s basketball season is over.
But petty social media never stops working. Now he has Charles Barkley in the crosshairs.
The defeated Brooklyn Nets striker joined his teammates in elimination from the playoffs on Monday, thanks to a sweep in the hands of the Boston Celtics. After the fight, Barkley was his typical honest self on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” and hired Durant to be a “bus rider”. Whatever that means.
“I do not want to make a bad mouth of the guy,” Barkley said before asking him. “You’re always talking about that championship thing. I’m trying to tell you that. All these bus riders. They mean nothing to me. If you do not ride the bus, do not go around talking about you a champion.
“If you ride the bus, I will not hear it. All these guys walking around with championship rings, all the bus riders. When you’re the bus driver and you have all the pressure where you have to play well or you get blamed. It’s a other animal. “
Notice Kenny Smith – who seems to fit Barkley’s definition of “bus rider” for his role as winner of two championships alongside Hakeem Olajuwon – as he quietly rolls his fingers on the desk during Barkley’s quarrels. But it is Durant who really took offense at Barkley’s position. Naturally.
KD strikes back
Tuesday morning, with no basketball to prepare for, Durant took to Instagram to fire back with examples of all the times he believes Barkley was, in fact, a “bus rider” during his NBA career.
His selected examples include Barkley, who stands alongside Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen and Clyde Drexler as a member of the Houston Rockets late in his career. And, affected, KD. It is just as good an example of ring hunting for your best ring as there is in sports.
But it is the Philadelphia 76ers shot that has the chance to land the most damage. Durant also included photos of Barkley standing alongside other franchise icons Julius Irving, Moses Malone and Maurice Cheeks, one also including Andrew Toney with the caption: “Where would Chuck be without the big homies.”
Durant dismissed the low blow by pointing out Barkley’s championship result. But he made his point.
How will Barkley react?
Meanwhile, Barkley’s point to begin with is not entirely clear. “Bus riders” in this case are, of course, role players, while “bus drivers” are stars of candidates who carry the burden of bringing a championship home – or not, in his case. With this definition, Durant is definitely a bus driver. While trying to assemble a super team in Brooklyn, Durant is definitely driving that bus with Kyrie Irving as his co-pilot.
No, it seems to be more of a shot at Durant’s time in Golden State, where he joined a Warriors team that had been to consecutive NBA Finals and won an NBA Championship without him. He could have been the best player, but Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green appear to be Barkley’s designated “bus drivers” on these 2017 and ’18 title teams.
Whatever his point is, he will have his chance to explain in more detail Tuesday night when he’s back in the air for another round of NBA playoff coverage. He will definitely be ready with a reply. But Durant, who has officially moved on to his offseason, is not worried.