Suns F Kevin Durant responds to Charles Barkley's 'he's not a leader' comment

Charles Barkley had a lot to say about Kevin Durant during the All-Star Game.

The Hall of Fame forward was providing commentary during the TruTV alternative broadcast and apparently decided he was going to take Durant to task ... again.

On Wednesday, Durant responded to Barkley's criticism that he's "a follower" and "not a leader."

During an interview with Boardroom — which Durant owns — and his agent, Rich Kleiman, the 35-year-old offered his perspective on his standing in the league.

"I don't feel like I want people to call me a leader," Durant said. "But I also don't want people to say I'm not one either because they don't see what goes on behind the scenes of what I talk about or my intentions or relationships that I've built with my teammates and my support staff.

"I'm not as charismatic as my peers; I don't have a personality that's fit for TV like my peers. You've 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 need people to call me a leader, but I also don't feel like I want people to say I'm not one, either."

Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant responded to Charles Barkley's comments about him. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant responded to Charles Barkley's comments about him. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Durant, who is averaging 28.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.7 assists this season for the fifth-place Suns, has been a popular talking point for Barkley in the past.

Almost a year ago, Barkley told CBS the two-time NBA champion is "very sensitive" and "part of a generation that can't be criticized." Over the weekend, Barkley decided to take it to another level.

"No disrespect to Kevin. Kevin's a follower. He's not a leader. He's proven that on all his stops," Barkley said during the game. "[Devin] Booker's a hell of a player also. I think he's going to have to take the initiative and take this Suns team to the next level. ... But I said the same thing with Boston: One of your guys has to step forward, he has to step forward, and for me, for Phoenix to be successful, it has to be Booker."

Barkley's remarks came to the attention of Suns coach Frank Vogel, who defended Durant and the leadership he has seen from the 14-time All-Star.

"He definitely leads by example, but he also speaks up when he needs to. Not every player is going to be a rah-rah type," Vogel said Wednesday on "Bickley & Marotta." "Every player leads in their own way. You have to lead within your personality. I learned that as a coach a long time ago, that I can't come in and try to be Rick Pitino, as much as he inspired me to get into coaching. Our personalities are different."