Charles Barkley shares interesting take on LeBron-MJ debate
The ongoing LeBron James-Michael Jordan debate has taken on new life in recent weeks thanks to the runaway success of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary.
Countless NBA luminaries have been sharing their take on whether King James or His Airness deserves to be touted as the greatest basketball player of all time. Into that fray steps Charles Barkley, who has made a compelling case that the two shouldn’t even be pitted against each other in such a manner in the first place.
In essence, the outspoken “Inside the NBA” analyst believes the James-or-Jordan conundrum is the incorrect debate, as another legend is a much more appropriate candidate for comparison with James.
“In my opinion, Michael the GOAT,” Barkley said on “The Lefkoe Show,” as transcribed by NBC Sports Chicago. “And LeBron, to me, I’ve always said he’s closer to Magic Johnson than he is to Michael.”
Charles Barkley tells @AdamLefkoe that Kobe, not LeBron is the closest he’s ever seen to MJ.— The Lefkoe Show (@LefkoeShow) May 21, 2020
In fact, Charles doesn’t see LeBron as an MJ comp at all… pic.twitter.com/mlMolAZ26h
Barkley, who remains estranged from his longtime friend, believes that when it comes to a player sharing the most traits with Jordan, Kobe Bryant is the only one who can measure up to the Chicago Bulls legend in many respects.
“I ain’t never gonna say anything bad about LeBron James, but the closest to Michael I’ve ever seen was Kobe,” Barkley said. “And what I mean by that is a guy who has a singular vision, like, I just want to win. I’m not worried what my teammates think. I’m not worried about what the coach think. I just want to win.”
Barkley certainly makes great points about how LeBron is much more of a Magic Johnson-style player while Kobe’s unyielding competitive fire was Jordan-esque. That being said, the LeBron-MJ debate will undoubtedly continue, and a recent poll about which superstar is held in the highest regard is certainly eye-opening.