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”Only because I got the ball more!” — Charles Barkley points out the one thing he did better than Tim Duncan

Charles Barkley settles the power forward GOAT debate.
Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley and San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan

Charles Barkley and Tim Duncan

Charles Barkley doesn't get mentioned in the discussion of the greatest power forwards of all time often enough. This is a shame because the man was an absolute beast in his prime. Even if we ask Barkley himself, he probably wouldn't include himself in the conversation. In his eyes, San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan is the GOAT of power forwards. However, there is one thing Barkley believes he is better at.

Barkley vs. Duncan

In an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, Barkley settled the debate on who’s better between him and Duncan. Chuck did not hesitate to admit that Duncan is the greatest power forward of them all. Patrick tried to extend the discussion by pointing out that Barkley’s a better scorer than the Big Fundamental.

Charles Barkley: Tim Duncan is the greatest power forward ever.

Dan Patrick: What’s he do better than you?

Barkley: He’s a better post-up player. It’s easy for him to score.

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Patrick: Yeah but you were a better scorer.

Barkley: Only because I got the ball more.

This is why Chuck is beloved by almost all fans. He’s not like your typical NBA legend who boasts of his greatness. Barkley doesn’t announce that he’s craving to be the GOAT. Instead, he just lets his game speak for himself. He praises others instead of putting himself up on a pedestal.

The facts

The numbers back the assessment that Barkley is a better scorer than Duncan. The Spurs icon averaged 19.0 points for his career, while Barkley averaged 22.1 points. Further, Barkley averaged as much as 28.3 points per game while Duncan’s career-high was 25.5 points.

Those who saw Barkley play would not disagree with his declaration that he’s only better than Duncan because he had more opportunities to score. Barkley wasn’t your typical forward even in his era. He didn’t camp in the paint and bullied his defenders.

The man was a beast on the offensive boards. He had a smooth stroke from the perimeter and ran the fastbreak from time to time.

Duncan, for his part, was raised by Gregg Popovich’s system which prioritized sophisticated ball movement and passing. The man had a chunk of the pie, but Popovich’s playbook deemed to pass the blessings to the rest of the pack.

There should be more debates on who’s the greatest in every position. It is an excellent way to see and evaluate how the game has changed. The power forward position is the most interesting one since it has undergone more changes than any other position. For example, a muscle man like Karl Malone once dominated the four spot. Not long after him, a sharpshooter like Dirk Nowitzki reigned supreme. Now, the combination of speed and power in Giannis Antetokounmpo is the rave.  

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