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Here's why Kevin Durant is a 'bus driver' and not a 'rider', despite Charles Barkley's criticism

After crashing out of the first round of the playoffs with his Brooklyn Nets side, Kevin Durant drew criticism from legendary NBA star Charles Barkley.

The Nets were swept away by the Boston Celtics in the playoffs, with Kevin Durant unable to stop a 4-0 whitewash in the first round.
The final nail in the coffin came on Tuesday, as the Celtics stormed to a 116-112 win to wrap up the series victory.
And after struggling throughout, Kevin Durant has since been criticised for not carrying the side by Charles Barkley.
"I don't want to badmouth the dude," Barkley said. "You guys always talk about that championship stuff. I try to tell y'all. All these bus riders. They don't mean nothing to me. If you ain't driving the bus, don't walk around talking about you a champion.
"If you riding the bus, I don't want to hear it. All these guys walking around with championship rings, y'all bus riders. When you are the bus driver and you've got all that pressure where you have to play well or you're gonna get the blame. That's a different animal."
Durant didn't take that comment so well, and he fired back at Barkley via Instagram about how Barkley himself joined up with superstar teammates on several occasions throughout his career.
It turns out KD has a point - Barkley was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers, as they had Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and Maurice Cheeks on their roster at the time.
Barkley was also traded to a Houston Rockets team that featured Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, and Clyde Drexler.
In both instances, Barkley joined teams that were just two seasons removed from winning a championship.
Durant, on the other hand, voluntarily decided to join the Golden State Warriors in free agency.
But there's a caveat to all of this. Durant actually got it done on the world's biggest stage, as he brought the Warriors back-to-back championships and earned two finals MVPs in the process.
Meanwhile, Barkley didn't even get to the finals despite being on stacked teams, his only appearance came while he was a member of the Phoenix Suns.

Durant showing tremendous leadership

The Nets' season was anything but smooth despite being heavily favored to win a championship.
Kyrie Irving's refusal to get vaccinated sidelined him for most of the season due to New York City's vaccine mandate, and while Durant remained in support of his friend's choice, it undoubtedly made his task on the court harder.

Durant also empathized with James Harden's wish to be traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, and despite Nets fans loudly expressing their desire for the team to fire head coach Steve Nash, Durant was quick to point out that Nash has had a lot to deal with during his first two seasons in charge, with Covid-19, injuries and internal distractions all affecting his side's performances

Durant's shown unwavering loyalty to those close to him, and never turned his back on a team that relies so heavily on him.
Despite a poor showing in the playoffs this season, there's no arguing that Durant is indeed the bus driver in Brooklyn.

READ MORE: NBA news: What's next for the Brooklyn Nets after play-off collapse?

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