Charles Barkley shares why he ranks Michael Jordan over LeBron James
Charles Barkley has long said that Michael Jordan is hands-down the greatest NBA player of all time, and he reiterated in an interview this week that there is nothing LeBron James can do to change his mind.
Barkley was once again asked to compare Jordan and James during a recent appearance on HBO’s “Back on the Record” with Bob Costas. He said LeBron is “amazing” and praised him for his work both on the court and in the community, but he does not feel his accomplishments will ever quite stack up to Jordan’s.
“The reason I put Michael up there above those other guys — LeBron has stacked his teams, let’s be realistic,” Barkley said. “What Giannis (Antetokounmpo) and Dirk Nowitzki and guys like that have done, to go through the grind and to lose, which Michael did, that’s what separates sports. … That’s the difference in my opinion.”
Barkley certainly is not the first person to make that argument. LeBron deserves credit for singlehandedly bringing some Cleveland Cavaliers teams to the NBA Finals, but he wasn’t able to win a championship until he teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. He then returned to Cleveland to win a third title, but he had Kyrie Irving. James won his fourth championship with the Los Angeles Lakers after they acquired Anthony Davis.
Of course, Jordan had some help. He was fortunate to have Scottie Pippen as a teammate throughout his whole career. The Bulls also signed Ron Harper, traded for Dennis Rodman, and drafted Toni Kukoc. All of those players were instrumental in helping Jordan pile up championships.
Even if LeBron adds a fifth title to his resume next season, Barkley is not going to change his mind after the Lakers recently acquired Russell Westbrook.
Barkley has had much harsher comments in the past when asked to compare M.J. and LeBron. You can see more of his discussion with Costas below: