Connect with us

Phoenix Suns

Kevin Durant responds to people questioning his leadership

© Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

In the Boardroom Cover Story released today with Kevin Durant and his business partner Rich Kleinman, Durant offered his response to people questioning his leadership.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

“I’m not as charismatic as my peers,” Durant said. “I don’t have a personality that’s fit for TV like my peers. A lot of those stories of what we talk about don’t get spoken about in the media, and that’s just really what it is. It’s like you got to sell what you’re doing as well, and I haven’t sold it enough. I don’t feel like I need to. I don’t feel like I want people to call me a leader, but I also don’t want people to say I’m not one either. They don’t see what goes on behind the scenes of what I talk about or my intentions or the relationships that I’ve built with all my teammates and support staff.”

Just on Sunday during the NBA All-Star Game, Charles Barkley questioned Durant’s leadership.

Barkley said he wanted Durant to be the Suns’ leader, but he couldn’t because “Kevin’s a follower. He’s not a leader. He’s proven that on all of his stops.”

Less than two years ago, Barkley infamously called Durant “a bus rider” rather than a “bus driver.” When talking about all of his stops, Barkley is saying that when Durant was the leader in Oklahoma City, he lost in the NBA Finals. Then, Durant won two championships in Golden State while following the lead of Stephen Curry.

This “bus rider” remark really started the whole narrative around Durant not being a leader.

“When guys like that say that, I just got to chalk it up to them just not being aware of what goes on,” Durant continued, “instead of like wanting to push a narrative for myself, maybe not narrative, (but) tell the truth for myself, expose the truth for how great of a leader I am, I don’t feel like it’s necessary. I just chalk it up to those guys not being aware of who I am.”

Happiness and frustration

On Christmas, ESPN reported that Durant was frustrated with the current state of the Suns.

In the subsequent days after this report, many fans had pointed out on social media that Durant looked “mentally checked out.”

Durant responded to one of these comments on social media. He said that people “can flat out lie on (his) name … and you people will believe it.”

Durant later completely dismissed this report, saying in part, “I’m not frustrated with the whole situation. I may be frustrated at the moment, at a bad play or a tough stretch. But nah, I enjoy the grind.”

He explained more in depth on this latest Boardroom project.

“It’s times where I’m unhappy, that’s just human nature,” Durant said. “When we don’t play well as a team, I’m not happy. It may not last for a long time. But I’m not happy for a good four or five hours when I call you (Kleinman) after to a bad game. I’m not happy. I think that once you accept that we have normal human emotions and reactions.

“Of course my life is good, of course I can’t complain about anything. But in the moment some s— happens, I’m not going fake like I’m not upset about it because I’m living such a great life. No, I want this to work out. Sometimes you being upset helps you figure out a problem. Sometimes me not liking what’s going on is going to help me get to a solution better, but that doesn’t mean my life overall is unhappy.”

Durant only needs 45 more points to pass Carmelo Anthony for ninth on the all-time points list.

This season, Durant is averaging 28.2 points on 54/44/87 splits, 6.6 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 48 games for the 33-22 Suns, as he looks to help bring Phoenix its first NBA championship.

Kevin Durant gets real on Achilles injury

*Get the BEST Phoenix sports insider information, exclusive content, and access to our seasonal magazines! SIGN UP HERE to unlock our premium content!*

Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

More in Phoenix Suns