Michael Jordan is still the greatest basketball player to ever live, at least according to Hall of Famer and TNT broadcaster Charles Barkley.
CSN Philly shared a list of Barkley's top players in NBA history on Wednesday, and his Airness sits atop the throne. More notably, however, LeBron James is a distant seventh and behind Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant on Barkley's list:
This is not the first time Barkley has ranked Bryant—a five-time champion—ahead of James—a three-time champion.
Chris Walder of The Score noted in October 2016 Barkley stressed the title count at an NBA media event.
"I don't understand why ya'll are in such a hurry to move him past Tim Duncan and Kobe (Bryant)," he said. "Now if he wins a couple more championships, I might move him past Kobe and Tim Duncan…You guys are always talking about championships - Kobe and Tim got five, LeBron's got three."
It should be noted Barkley's previous comments came at a time when James was on top of the basketball world after leading his Cleveland Cavaliers to an incredible comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals against the record-setting 73-win Golden State Warriors.
If he didn't surpass Bryant at that point, it was unlikely Barkley would think differently after James and the Cavs lost in the 2017 NBA Finals.
James is 32 years old and theoretically on the backend of his basketball prime, but he hasn't shown many signs of slowing down after averaging a triple-double in the most recent Finals with 33.6 points, 12.0 rebounds and 10.0 assists per game. It is hard to say he could have done anything more in Cleveland's five-game loss to a Warriors squad that simply proved to be too deep and too talented.
If he continues to play like that, he still has time to add those couple championships to his resume and perhaps finally surpass Bryant in Barkley's rankings.