If you want an honest NBA opinion, look no further than television analyst and hall-of-famer Charles Barkley. The Round Mound of Rebound knows no other way to answer questions than as bluntly as possible. He’s not always right, but he’s usually not that far off base with his assessments. During a recent interview with SI, Barkley was asked about the greatest players of all time and specifically about where Lebron James belongs in that discussion.
Here’s what the HOF’er had to say:
“I have him there. But he can’t get any higher than where he is. I have Michael (Jordan) at No. 1. Oscar (Robertson) at No. 2. Then Wilt (Chamberlain), Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar) and (Bill) Russell. I have Kobe (Bryant), LeBron (James), Tim Duncan, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor after that. Those are my top 10. Those second five fluctuate, but who do I take off my top five?”
I don’t think you can really argue with Barkley’s top five. Based on their careers and accomplishments, it’s going to be extremely hard for Lebron to enter into that group.
Barkley also went on to say that he doesn’t see how people are already putting James ahead of Bryant. I couldn’t agree more. If you put their careers side-by-side, Kobe has the better resume, specifically in the championship department. At the same time, Lebron does have a very solid chance of passing Kobe if he wins a couple more rings. But as of now, the No. 7 spot is right where Lebron James belongs.