Frank Vogel Fires Back At Charles Barkley About Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant, Frank Vogel, Suns, NBA
Feb 2, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) talks to head coach Frank Vogel during a timeout against the Atlanta Hawks in the first quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

There were a lot of comments made during NBA All-Star Weekend that drew headlines during the league’s break. One of the people who went viral for comments made was NBA legend, Charles Barkley.

Barkley is never afraid to share his opinion and will stand by what he says. One of the people who were in his crosshairs recently was Phoenix Suns superstar, Kevin Durant. Barkley was making comments about Durant’s leadership, or lack thereof, which would put the onus on Devin Booker to carry the load in that regard.

It was something that Suns head coach Frank Vogel was not going to stand for. He fired back at Barkley, sticking up for his player and offering some perspective on the kind of leader Durant is for the Suns.

“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. “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.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Kevin Durant, Charles Barkley, Frank Vogel, Phoenix Suns Updates

Durant is an easy target for NBA analysts when it comes to leadership qualities given some of the decisions he has made throughout his career. Leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors, after they defeated the Thunder in the postseason and won an NBA record 73 regular season games, is something that will be hard for him to live down.

He tried to showcase he was capable of being a leader without the elite infrastructure the Warriors provided, heading to the Brooklyn Nets and teaming up with Kyrie Irving. Eventually, James Harden joined the fray, but the results were disastrous.

Shortly after signing a multi-year extension, Durant was looking for a way out. He ended up being traded to the Suns, who are Booker’s team. Booker should be looked at as the leader as he has been there for the entire growth of the franchise going from bottom feeder to NBA Contender.

As Vogel said, there are different ways players can lead their teammates. Durant’s personality is going to result in a different leadership style from other guys on the team. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is a criticism he will be faced with based on decisions he has made.

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