Charles Barkley went on The Dan Patrick Show to discuss everything currently going on in his life, but obviously, he touched upon the NBA and the playoffs. Barkley discussed the never-ending GOAT debate and what it will take from LeBron James to get on the same level as Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan.
According to Barkley, he still doesn’t have LeBron up there with Bryant and Jordan; however, he is happy to have that discussion if he ends up winning his fifth NBA championship this season. LeBron and the Lakers will have a challenging task moving forward since they don’t have home-court advantage for the remainder of the playoffs.
I’m open to discussion. I think they got a lucky break having to play the Phoenix Suns, but if they can win three series and if he beats Phoenix, the Nuggets, and Clippers. But if they can beat the big three in Brooklyn and win three series on the road and beat the big three in Brooklyn. If he beats those three guys in Brooklyn, I would be open to the discussion. I would elevate him past Kobe, and then I would listen to the argument that he is in the conversation with Michael Jordan, and that is only fair.Charles Barkley, via The Dan Patrick Show
Barkley admitted he still has Kobe ranked higher than LeBron because he believes Kobe is one of the best players in NBA history. However, if LeBron wins another championship, especially after this season, Barkley is willing to have the conversation, he is even greater than Jordan.
I got Kobe a little bit ahead of LeBron, just a little bit. When people argue that I am crazy for putting Kobe ahead of LeBron and I tell them Kobe is one of the best to ever do it. He is in that conversation, but I don’t think the Lakers are going to win the championship. If they are able to win a championship this year, I think you at least have to be open for the conversation.Charles Barkley, via The Dan Patrick Show
Suppose somehow Lakers overcome the deficit of not having the home-court advantage, and they end up winning a championship against such fierce competition. In that case, it makes sense to have the conversation as LeBron being the greatest of all time because he would tie himself with Kobe when it comes to won championships and will need one more to match up with Jordan. If the Lakers don’t beat the Suns, the hopes of LeBron being labeled as the greatest player of all time will be slim to none.