We still have at least three games left in the NBA Finals and haven’t seen Kevin Durant play since May 8, but that doesn’t mean the Golden State Warriors superstar’s free agency this summer carries any less intrigue.
The New York Knicks are widely thought to be a favorite to land Durant (and maybe another star on a max contract), but one of the NBA’s loudest analysts doesn’t think it would be a good fit.
‘Some of the thinnest skin I’ve ever seen’
Charles Barkley was asked about the possibility of Durant joining the Knicks on Tuesday, and the NBA Hall of Famer didn’t have the kindest words for Durant’s ability to handle the environment that comes with Madison Square Garden.
"Well I'd say, 'Kevin you're one of the greatest players I've ever seen. You've also got some of the thinnest skin I've ever seen. I don't know if you're made for New York City,’" Barkley said on a conference call to promote American Century Championship golf tournament. "I think that would be the toughest aspect.
"If he's arguing with these teenagers online, he's not going to be able to deal with that New York media. He's a great person, he's a great player. I don't think he has the mental makeup to play in New York, that's just my personal opinion."
That’s a somewhat valid point given Durant’s well-known misadventures on social media and speaking with the media, though to act like Durant would be walking into a kind of hostility he’s never seen before is kind of silly.
Durant has spent the last three years playing for the most scrutinized team in the league. He’s been yelled at for ruining the league’s competition. He’s also faced questions over whether or not the Warriors are actually better without him. He’s encountered locker room drama. He’s played in front of sold-out crowds in virtually every game he’s suited up for the Warriors, and the national media — Barkley included, clearly — has followed the team’s every move.
None of that is to say Durant has handled the environment particularly well, but the Warriors probably aren’t complaining about any of it considering they’re three wins away from a threepeat.
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