Charles Barkley weighed in on something of a polarizing topic this past week: who is better between Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant and Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Barkley, who has never been one to bite his tongue, appeared on ‘First Take’ with Stephen A. Smith recently to discuss a myriad of NBA-related topics.
One in particular that arose was the comparison between Durant and Antetokounmpo.
Both men are obviously champions. Both are MVPs. Both have a lot of the same accolades. And yet, in most circles, Durant is regarded as the better player.
Barkley opted to challenge that notion.
“KD’s a great player, but he’s not better than Giannis.”
👀 Charles Barkley pic.twitter.com/y77PMJ2xAo
— First Take (@FirstTake) February 27, 2023
“Kevin Durant is a great, great player, but he’s not better than Giannis,” Barkley said.
“What about the leadership qualities?”
It’s worth noting, even putting leadership qualities aside, Antetokounmpo is also having an objectively better season than Durant this year, too.
So far in 2022-23 Antetokounmpo is averaging 31.3 points per game on 54 percent shooting from the field. In addition to that he also puts up 12 rebounds, 5.4 assists and nearly a block per outing.
Durant, meanwhile, is averaging 29.7 points on 55.9 percent shooting from the field. He is also chipping in 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per outing.
And of course, stats aside, it’s also hard to ignore that Durant needed a historically great Golden State Warriors team to win his titles while Antetokounmpo single-handedly carried his Bucks to a championship while beating the very Suns team Durant just joined.
Obviously Barkley and Durant have beef.
Mississippi State softball continues to be the best show in sports. https://t.co/LND7zZGnX1
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 28, 2023
And sure, it probably colors the NBA legend’s objectivity to some degree.
But it’s hard to quibble with his larger point here.
At the moment, Antetokounmpo seems like a better player than Durant. Which one of them will ultimately win an NBA title this year, though? Time will tell.
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