On Sunday afternoon, Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns picked up their first win of the post All-Star break portion of the home schedule with a fairly comfortable home victory over LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Durant didn't have his most efficient shooting night in this one but still did more than enough to lead a Suns offense that was potent, to say the least, throughout the afternoon on Sunday.

Recently, Durant found himself the criticism from TNT commentator Charles Barkley.

“No disrespect to Kevin. Kevin's a follower. He's not a leader. He's proven that on all his stops,” said Barkley during TNT's recent coverage of the NBA All-Star game, per ESPN.

After the game against the Lakers, Kevin Durant himself appeared to take a subtle shot at Barkley's jab.

“That’s the reason you got a team. The leadership was incredible tonight,” said Durant, per Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports on X, the social media platform formerly referred to as Twitter.

While Durant might not be the most outspoken or assertive player out there on the court, recent NBA history proves that a player doesn't need to have those attributes in order to effectively lead. We just saw the always stoic and soft-spoken Nikola Jokic surgically pick apart the entire NBA landscape–Durant and the Suns included–last spring en route to leading the Denver Nuggets to their first NBA championship.

If Durant and the Suns continue playing like they did on Sunday, Barkley's criticism won't hold any weight (if it ever did to begin with).