“Start Calling Charles Barkley Larsa Pippen”: Gilbert Arenas ‘Smacks’ Down TNT Analyst Over Kevin Durant Comments During All-Star Weekend

Advait Jajodia

During the 2024 All-Star Game, Charles Barkley was part of the Alternate Cast broadcast, calling the game alongside Draymond Green. Throughout the exhibition game, Barkley had several bold takes about players and teams. However, the TNT analyst’s comments on Kevin Durant being a “follower” didn’t sit well with Gilbert Arenas.

At one point during the broadcast, while talking about the Phoenix Suns, Charles Barkley didn’t mince his words as he stated that Kevin Durant didn’t have the qualities of a leader. Chuck called out the 2014 Most Valuable Player for being a “follower” at every step of his career and explained how Devin Booker has to step up as the Suns’ leader for the Phoenix side to have some sort of chance in the postseason.

“Kevin [Durant] is a follower. He’s not a leader. He’s proven that on all of his stops. Booker is a hell of a player also. I think he’s gon have to take that initiative and take this Suns team to the next level,” Barkley said.

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Gilbert Arenas was one of the many people who seemed to be offended by Barkley’s comments. On a recent episode of Gil’s Arena, the former NBA star took shots at the TNT analyst. After comparing the Phoenix Suns legend to Larsa Pippen (for being in a relationship with Michael Jordan’s son), Agent Zero explained how Barkley was ‘following’ Michael Jordan as well during his playing days.

“We should just start calling Charles Barkley Larsa Pippen. Last time we checked, you was following Jordan too like a little ho*. Right?” the three-time All-Star said. “Everything Jordan did, Barkley was right there. Jordan gamble, Barkley was there, right? They playing in the playoffs, Jordan want to do something, Barkley was there. Jordan want to go to Vegas, Barkley was there. Golfing? Barkley was there.”

“You followed Michael Jordan your whole career. You ain’t no different than Larsa Pippen, trying to get some of that Jordan blood,” Arenas added.

Arenas is not entirely wrong. Barkley was great friends with Jordan and would spend a lot of their downtime together. However, in this case, the Round Mound of Rebound is criticizing Durant’s inability to lead a basketball team and not calling him a “follower” for being someone else’s tail.

Arenas didn’t disprove Barkley’s accusations with his rant. He just personally attacked Barkley without addressing KD’s leadership qualities. The Chuckster would probably call it a win. However, it does seem like Barkley is taking an unnecessary shot at KD with his comments, which could reignite their feud.

Kevin Durant and Charles Barkley have been beefing since 2022

Kevin Durant is known for calling out his detractors and engaging with them on social media. Charles Barkley has been one of these detractors and KD has replied to him as well. Back in 2022, Sir Charles had a similar comment when he claimed that the forward was a passenger and not a “bus rider” during his stint with the Golden State Warriors. Hence, Barkley refused to put the Slim Reaper in the same tier as legends such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

“Before KD gets that great respect from all the old heads, he’s going to have to win a championship as the bus driver. Listen, he joined that team that already won a championship, no disrespect, that’s just a fact,” Barkley said.

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Kevin Durant addressed this criticism during his appearance on The ETCs Podcast. While KD revealed his admiration for Barkley’s Hall-Of-Fame game, he didn’t “f**k with” Barkley’s takes as an analyst.

“He’s a f—ing legend that I’ve got nothing but respect for, and when I look up… I don’t agree with how he approaches the game as a Hall of Famer. His game as an analyst — I don’t really f*** with your approach. That’s my opinion on you, just like your opinion on us,” KD said.

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Barkley then responded to Durant by calling him “sensitive”. Since then, the two legends have been going back and forth from time to time.

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It will not be surprising if the two-time champ decides to react to Barkley’s latest comments. Fans of the Phoenix Suns will hope that the 6ft 11” scoring forward can do so by leading the franchise to their first championship win.

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About the author

Advait Jajodia

Advait Jajodia

Advait Jajodia, a seasoned NBA journalist, has had a passion for the game for over a decade. His journey from admiring Kobe Bryant's precision to being in awe of Stephen Curry's long-range mastery instilled a profound understanding of basketball. With a background as a two-time National-level player, Advait uses his experience on the hardwood to offer insightful analysis. Over three years of dedicated sports journalism has equipped the 21-year-old with a unique perspective, reflected in his prolific portfolio of 3,200+ articles.

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