Charles Barkley Thinks LeBron James Will Never Be Top-Five NBA All Time Great
Charles Barkley has never been afraid to speak his mind. Last night, Sir Charles appeared as a guest on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons to discuss the legacy of LeBron James. Barkley, who retired as one of the NBA's all time greats, told Simmons that he puts LeBron among his top 10 all time NBA greats, but he would never be able to crack his personal Top 5 list.
In case you are wondering, Barkley gave Simmons a tiered ranking of his all-time NBA players (with titles in parenthesis):
Michael Jordan - 6 NBA titles
Oscar Robertson - 1 NBA title (1971)
Bill Russell - 11 NBA titles
Kareem Abdul Jabbar - 6 NBA titles
Wilt Chamberlain - 2 NBA titles
Kobe Bryant - 5 NBA titles
Tim Duncan - 5 NBA titles
LeBron James - 3 NBA titles
Magic Johnson - 5 NBA titles
Larry Bird - 3 NBA titles
Jerry West - 1 NBA title
Elgin Baylor - 0 NBA titles
Although he currently has him ranked 8th or 9th, Barkley did admit that winning a couple of more championships would move James up his list. Apparently, three NBA Finals MVPs (only five players in the history of the NBA to accomplish this feat) is not good enough to crack Sir Charles' top 5 list. Although LeBron could move past Duncan and Kobe, the Cavs' superstar will never pass Chamberlain or Jabbar in Barkley's eyes no matter how many more championship rings he wins before he retires.