As LeBron James puts forth another outstanding playoff performance in leading the Cleveland Cavaliers back to the Eastern Conference Finals, the debate of his all-time ranking has gained steam once again.
Something that has been argued for some time is whether he has surpassed Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. Charles Barkley has long been one of the most outspoken voices in basketball and being part of “Inside The NBA” gives him a platform to voice his opinions.
His most recent one will likely bring a smile to the face of fans of Bryant and the Lakers. On a recent episode of the show, Barkley revealed that he still has Kobe ranked ahead of LeBron on his personal all-time player list:
“LeBron is great. I’ve said this before. My top five, I’ve always said is, Michael, Oscar, Bill Russell, Kareem and Wilt. I’ve got Kobe sixth, I’ve got LeBron seventh. It’s all subjective. I’m never going to say a bad thing about LeBron James. He’s one of the greatest I’ve ever seen, but all this stuff is just talk radio to me.”
As Barkley notes, everything is subjective and every person has their own rankings and reasoning for doing so. Just as interesting is that Barkley has neither player in his top five, something that many would argue is wrong.
The arguments for Kobe vs. LeBron are pretty clear on each side. Those in the James camp point to his superior rebounding and passing numbers, as well as the fact that he has broken some Kobe scoring records over the years. Those on the Bryant side point to his higher number of championships, killer instinct, and superior offensive repertoire.
Debates like this are what makes being a fan of the NBA more fun than any other league. While this argument will continue on for a long time, it is nice to see a Hall of Fame player still favoring Kobe above LeBron.
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