Every basketball fan has a top-five list. The same is true for every basketball player.
Black America’s “Uncle Chuck” is no exception. NBA legend Charles Barkley talked about his five faves in a conversation with Kentucky coach John Calipari on his “Coffee with Cal” show this week.
“Michael’s one, Oscar Robertson’s two,” Barkley said. “[Bill] Russell, Wilt [Chamberlain] and Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], no particular order after Michael. Kobe six, LeBron seven, then you’ve got Elgin Baylor, Jerry West.”
Barkley left out fan favorites like LeBron James and the late, great Kobe Bryant in favor of a list that is more of a throwback.
While James and Bryant didn’t make Barkley’s top five, they were in his top ten. In his defense, Barkley stated “I don’t live in the moment,” when it came to making his list.
“I don’t live in the moment.”
LeBron still not a top-five all-time player in Charles Barkley’s rankings: https://t.co/rHmMeHDuPf
— ESPN (@espn) June 20, 2016
When asked why he explained that James plays in a different league than the one that he and Michael Jordan once played in.
“You know, I love LeBron and everything about him but I still think that the way they play the game today he didn’t want any part of those bad boy Pistons,” Barkley said. “Let me tell you something, those guys were out there trying to hurt people. I used to always tell people when you were playing the Pistons you had to call home and tell your family you love them just in case you never saw them again.”
The quote refers to the documentary The Last Dance where pundits and Jordan himself talked about playing against the 1989 and 1990 NBA champion Detroit Pistons who were called “The Bad Boys.”
Barkley is himself an NBA Hall of Famer and one of the most respected authorities on the game of basketball, however, he never won an NBA championship. While James and Bryant have combined eight titles between them. But, rings aren’t everything.