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Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/20/14

Via Larry Brown Sports:

LeBron 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.

10 Comments:
  • As far as the alcoholic, wife beating J Kid is concerned, he was probably drink when he made his list. Perhaps others have forgotten, but I remember very well when he beat his ex-wife. He puts on that, "I'm a team-player saint, when in fact, his history speaks differently. We all know he's a "smooth" talker...slithered his way to a head coach!
  • That fine Charles, I can understand looking back at your career and trying to find equalities with LeBron is very hard, damn near impossible. How many NBA rings do you have?

    Let go of your bitterness and admit, like a Man, that LeBron has to be considered one of the best.
  • iguanajoe- ur comment is nonsense. How many rings Charles has is of no relevance. In fact, he's praising guys that have the rings! He's saying, right now, Kobe is ranked higher BECUZ OF HIS 5 RINGS! If Lebron gets more, I'm sure he'll move higher
  • Kobe, is where he is on the list because people do not like him. He is one of the greatest of all time, but how many people would like to hang out with him. Your personal life matters in how people rate you. Maybe it should not count, but LaBron is definately a more honest and cooler and down to earth guy, that most people like and relate to. By the way, I always thought Carl Malone was a nut. Him saying that Scottie Pippen is better than MIchael Jordon make me think I am right.

    I think Michael and Scottie are having a beer together and laughing their ass off at Malone's comments.

    Better yet he should ask his old teamate Mr. Russell what he thinks.
  • Barkley was good, but he was no Kobe or Lebron. I don't think he can offer an objective opinion because of this.
  • Charles has a solid list, however -- I am not sure I like his chances if we go head's up and pick two 5-man squads. If he picks first and skips Kareem to go with Jordan, I think he loses. Means I get Kareem and probably Wilt, he must pick big man, so I get Oscar or Magic or Kobe next. Point is, Kareem must be first pick to win I believe ...
    Cardman
  • Loud mouth Charles never won a damn thing, so his opinion is no better then mine or anyone else. I can see his picks as being on target except for the fact he does not have MAGIC JOHNSON on his list...SAY WHAT? Magic is the best player ever or if not the best in the top 3. Magic is a guard or a foeward or when Jabbar missed game six of the NBA Finals game rookie Magic Johnson played center. He scored 42 points dished 12 assists and rebounded like 15 boards. Point is Magic can play any position on the floor so he has to be top five. Another miss is Larry Bird. Bird kicked Barkley's butt every year so of course he's not on the team because of it.
    How about Johnson at point, Jordan at 2 guard, Bird at one forward, Duncan at the other forward and Jabbar at center. Robertson, Wilt and Bernard King come off the bench. No Barkley, he's way down my list.
  • Chuckie "BJ" Barkly. The DUI with the hooker guy. The guy who spit at a fan heckling him during his playing days, only to miss the fan and hit a guy's girlfriend. Chuckie "BJ" - SHUT THE F UP! Lebbron has more skills with one arm tied behind his back, blind folded you fat AZ low life PUNK!!!!!!!!!!
  • Simply a case of "no room at the top".
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