Charles Barkley is no stranger to voicing controversial opinions, and this morning he was a guest on Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN. The topic at hand was, unsurprisingly, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ comeback to win the NBA Finals. The discussion turned to LeBron James’ place in NBA history.
Barkley mentions his specific top 5 NBA players of all-time, including Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. LeBron was nowhere to be found in the top 5, nor was he 6 or 7. Barkley instead ranked contemporaries Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan above James, saying he’s not ready to put LeBron above them just yet.
The rankings in that case mostly came down to championships – Kobe had 5 to LeBron’s 3. In the past, Barkley has ranked James above Bryant just in terms of ability, taking championships out of the picture.