TNT analyst Charles Barkley does not think LeBron James is one of the top five NBA players of all time, he said on Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons.
Barkley has expressed that stance before, and recently ranked Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan as his top seven NBA greats.
Barkley said his group of players he considers top-five greats will never change, leaving no room for James to crack the list.
“I’m not going to just move him past Tim Duncan and Kobe. They didn’t just die,” Barkley said. “But I will say this about LeBron James: I’ve never seen a man coming out of high school who has handled the success, been a great player, never got in a stitch of trouble. It’s probably been the greatest career ever.”
James has won the NBA MVP award four times, tied with Chamberlain and just behind Jordan (5), Russell (5) and Abdul-Jabbar (6). He just won his third NBA Championship, which ranks far behind Russell’s NBA-leading 11 titles with the Boston Celtics.