Charles Barkley believes Kevin Durant needs to be the leader of a championship-winning team to prove he’s on the same level as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and the other greatest players of all time. When asked his opinion on this situation during an appearance on “First Take.” Barkley noted that James said he had to win a championship without Dwyane Wade to gain the respect of the “old heads.”
Durant responded to Barkley on social media, unconvinced that James actually made such a statement about his own legacy. Is Durant right? Did LeBron James ever say he needed to win a title without Dwyane Wade to earn respect?
“I don’t remember bron saying that…someone link me to an article.”.
I don’t remember bron saying this…somebody link me to the article https://t.co/Ze3z7b9vN2
– Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) February 27, 2023
There appears to be no evidence that James publicly stated that winning a ring without Wade on his team was a requirement to gain the respect he deserved. It is possible that Barkley is recounting a private conversation.
James emphasized the importance of Wade in 2010, which ultimately helped him win a championship. James and Wade collected four consecutive NBA Finals appearances and won 2 rings in Miami.
“To accomplish what I really wanted to accomplish in this league, which was to win at the highest level, I needed him.” James said of Wade after the former teammates last faced each other in 2018.
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