Charles Barkley has admitted that he doesn’t regard LeBron James as one of the top five basketball players of all time.
The basketball legend, who played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, and Houston Rockets, was talking to Sports Illustrated ahead of the start of the 2013-14 season.
Barkley was brazenly asked whether he believed that LeBron James in already in his top 10 players of all time, to which he remarked, “I have him there. But he can’t get any higher than where he is.”
The TNT analyst, who works alongside Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith on Inside the NBA, then revealed his own top five players, stating, “I have Michael [Jordan] at No. 1, Oscar [Robertson] at No. 2. Then Wilt [Chamberlain], Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] and [Bill] Russell.”
Barkley then rounded off his top 10 by confirming that Kobe [Bryant], LeBron, Tim Duncan, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor feature in his final positions. However, he admitted that the ranking system often changes, stating, “Those are my top 10. Those second five fluctuate, but who do I take off my top five. LeBron can get to No. 6 on my list.”
However, Barkey admitted that he is slightly perturbed that Kobe Bryant, who has played his entire career for the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships in the process, isn’t mentioned in the same breath as LeBron James or Michael Jordan anymore.
Barkley stated, “But here’s the thing that bothers me about the whole LeBron debate: I want to know why y’all killed Kobe Bryant! Y’all don’t even compare him to LeBron anymore. You are skipping him for LeBron and going right to Michael. I’m still going to take five [titles] over two. It makes me laugh with my friends, the media just kills Kobe Bryant. Like he’s dead! Five still is a lot more than two!”
Earlier this month, Michael Jordan proclaimed that he would beat LeBron James in a one-on-one encounter and noted that he thinks he would only lose to Kobe Bryant because Kobe stole his moves.
Jordan told a promo for NBA 2K14, “I don’t think I would lose… Other than to Kobe Bryant because he steals all of my moves.” In the process, the Chicago Bulls deity dismissed the talents of Carmelo Anthony, Julius Erving, Dwayne Wade, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor.
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