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Charles Barkley defends criticism of Kevin Durant to Warriors by saying he didn’t force trade to Rockets, is full of crap

Charles Barkley #4

26 Jan 1999: Charles Barkley #4 of the Houston Rockets goes up for the rebound with Will Perdue of the Spurs during the game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Compaq Center in Houston, Texas. The Spurs defeated the Rockets 106-99.

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There are numerous reasons to dismiss Charles Barkley’s criticism of Kevin Durant signing with the Warriors.

The biggest, which Kurt covered here: Barkley forced a trade from the Suns to the Rockets in 1996.

Houston was one year removed from winning back-to-back championships, eliminating Barkley and Phoenix en route to both titles. With Barkley joining Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, the Rockets were deemed a super team before the season.

But Barkley is now trying to spin the deal to fit a narrative detached from reality.

Barkley on the Doug Gottlieb Show:

First of all, let’s get a couple misnomers. I got traded to Houston. I didn’t get asked to go to Houston. First of all, I never asked to go to Houston.

So, that notion -- I’ve heard that several times, that I was chasing a ring. I never chased a ring.

I got out of Philly, because they were a bad organization. They traded the No. 1 pick in the draft, Brad Daugherty. So, I got traded to Phoenix. That was the only time I demanded a trade and wasn’t going to play anymore.

But the Suns traded me to Houston. I wasn’t chasing a ring. I’ve never felt like a ring was -- this ain’t like the mafia or Jerry Maguire where this thing completes. I was a heck of a player. I didn’t win it. I’m cool with that. I never played on the best team.

But this notion that I chased a ring in Houston -- they traded me to Houston. I never said let me go play with old Clyde, old Hakeem and old Charles Barkley. So, that’s actually 100 percent not true.

Barkley at the time of the trade:

``I’m very excited,’' he told two Philly TV stations. ``Obviously, it’s something I wanted to do. Houston was my first priority.’'

``At this stage of my career, I’m not a great player. I’m a good player,’' he said. ``But with Hakeem and Clyde, I have a great shot at a championship.’'

``I called the shots,’' he said. ``When push comes to shove, I think you have to stand up to the system.’'

Barkley did not address how much snow he walked through on his uphill journey -- both ways -- from Phoenix to Houston.