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Charles Barkley: LeBron James not in my all-time top five, probably never will be

LeBron-James-HeatLeBron James is already considered by many to be one of the greatest NBA players of all time. Should he win several more championships before his career ends, some would argue that LeBron is No. 1. Charles Barkley does not envision that happening.

In a recent interview with SI.com’s Richard Deitsch, Barkley said he currently ranks LeBron just outside of his top-five NBA players of all time. And he suspects James will remain there.

“I have him there. But he can’t get any higher than where he is,” Barkley explained. “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, 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?”

Barkley then raised what he believes is a bigger issue — why people don’t give Kobe Bryant and his five championship rings more respect.

“LeBron can get to No. 6 on my list, but here’s the thing that bothers me about the whole LeBron debate: I want to know why y’all killed Kobe Bryant!” Barkley added. “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!”

I agree. Jason Kidd named his all-time starting five a few months ago and left Kobe out. Karl Malone rattled his off and put Scottie Pippen in over Michael Jordan, and he included LeBron. Still, no Kobe.

If LeBron wins three more championships before retiring, I’m sure Barkley will change his mind. But for now, his argument makes perfect sense.



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  • JoJo

    barkley you are a dumbass if you go by titles BILL RUSSELL is number1 not Michael. I still think Michael is the best but Mr. Russell has 11 titles. As far as players go I don’t have you in the top 150. Every time you open your mouth you sound like an IDIOT

  • deej

    In terms of J Kid, he was probably drunk or concerned about if anyone remembers how he beat his ex-wife. Nevertheless, J Kid is a “smooth” talker for he “slithered” his smooth-talking A** all the way to a head coach. And while I am writing about disrespect, I think Kobe and Serena Williams are two pro athletics that have done extremely well in their respective sports, yet gets very little respect in America while loved/respected in foreign countries..interesting, indeed!

  • JoJo

    By the time LeBron gets done playing he will have more titles than Bryant and a better player

  • SpinMax

    Wilt C

    Jordan SG

    Bird SF

    Magic PG

    Russel PF

  • Mandude321

    Karl Malone choose Pippen over MJ because he mad Jordan took his rings… lol!

  • brianshannon

    Read the article or just having trouble comprehending it? He didn’t say anything about the number of titles being where you are on the list just that as of right between Kobe and LeBron, he’d take 5 titles over 2. The dumbest thing in the world it say where LeBron should be on the greatest of all time list. Same for Duncan or Kobe. Let them finish their careers and go from there. Without question LeBron would end up being in the top 10 should he continue on the path he is currently going. Yet let’s all wait and see what happens. That top 5 of Barkley’s is going to be tough to crack, but we’ll just have to wait and see. As for where Sir Charles is on the list….there is little question he cracks the top 150….He’s already been a top 50 by his peers. He was a undersized forward who was a great at scoring and rebounding. Many times he out worked guys bigger and stronger than him. He was a fun player to watch. While I don’t always agree with Charles, the thing I love is, he tells you what he thinks and doesn’t care who agrees with him or not. Not many media folks are like that these days.

  • hookedonnews

    Bill Russell my #1. Celtics would never have won all those titles without him. MJ #2. The rest are debatable, but I would include Bird and Magic for sure.

  • OhiosVoices

    Yah, well, Kobe raped a girl. That takes him off my list.

  • OhiosVoices

    And Chuck is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.