Durant, Vogel react to Charles Barkley's talk on KD leadership

Stephen A., JJ Redick get heated over KD's leadership style (2:20)

Stephen A. Smith and JJ Redick debate whether it's fair to call Kevin Durant's leadership ability into question. (2:20)

Kevin Durant has a long history of not enjoying being in second.

From being second best on his high school team to being drafted second in 2007, he's known for saying he is "tired of being second." Perhaps that's why he made time Tuesday to respond to Charles Barkley's comments during a TruTV alternative broadcast of the All-Star Game.

"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 has been vocal about Durant and his departures from teams. In an interview with CBS in March 2023, Barkley called him "very sensitive" and "part of a generation that can't be criticized."

In a wide-ranging interview for Boardroom -- a platform owned by Durant -- KD was asked by his agent, Rich Kleiman, about Barkley's most recent comments and his image in the league.

"I don't feel like I want people to call me a leader, 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," Durant said.

He described those critical of his leadership as "not being aware" of his leadership style.

On Wednesday, Suns coach Frank Vogel defended Durant on "Bickley & Marotta."

"He definitely leads by example, but he also speaks up when he needs to," he said. "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."

Durant's personality also came up in the Boardroom interview, with Durant acknowledging why those questions about his style arise.

"I'm not as charismatic as my peers; I don't have a personality that's fit for TV like my peers," he said. "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."

Durant also addressed the "greatest of all time" conversation and whether he should be among those mentioned when GOAT talk arises. Kleiman asked Durant about his awareness of having an "asterisk" next to his name in NBA history.

"I feel like I've accomplished things on a court and been in situations that the greatest have seen, so I feel like I can have a conversation about basketball with the Michael Jordans or the Kobe Bryant or the LeBron James, not about bragging about how much we've done, but what did you see out there, and did I see the same things."