Charles Barkley Leaves Out Michael Jordan and LeBron James While Mentioning the Two Most Important People in NBA History

Published 10/23/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
Chicago Bulls All-Star forward # 23 Michael Jordan file photos. (Photo by Tom Berg/WireImage)


Michael Jordan and LeBron James will both go down as two of the greatest players ever to play the game of basketball. Between them, the duo has won 10 NBA championships, while being key players for their respective franchises. Their achievements in the NBA have done wonders for their fame and fortune. Furthermore, they have also helped boost the popularity of the sport and the league worldwide.

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However, in his podcast, ‘The Steam Room’, Charles Barkley did not mention their names while referencing the two most important people in the NBA. Barkley, an NBA legend in his own right, mentioned two other NBA legends: Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. His exclusion of Michael Jordan and LeBron James while speaking about the NBA’s 75th anniversary will surprise many NBA fans.

HOBE SOUND, FLORIDA – MAY 24: Charles Barkley commentates from the booth during The Match: Champions For Charity at Medalist Golf Club on May 24, 2020 in Hobe Sound, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images for The Match)

“Think about the NBA, we’re doing the 75th anniversary now. The two most important figures are Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. They saved the NBA,” Charles Barkley added, saying, “so those two guys to me are the most important people. And I love both of those guys for what they did for me and my family.”

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NBA fans can make a case that the duo of Michael Jordan and LeBron James contributed more to the league culturally. Nevertheless, as the NBA celebrates its 75th anniversary, the achievements of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in the league shouldn’t be forgotten.

Bird is the only person in NBA history to be named Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, NBA Finals MVP, All-Star MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year. Johnson has won ten NBA championships; winning five championships as a player and later another five championships as part-owner of the Lakers.

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Will LeBron James surpass Michael Jordan for the GOAT title?

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NBA fans frequently engage in heated debates about the most deserving player for the ‘GOAT’ title. Two names to feature in these debates most often are those of Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Both players played in different eras of the NBA but are compared to each other on a regular basis.

ORLANDO, FL – 1993: Shaquille O’Neal #32 of the Orlando Magic poses with Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls prior to playing an NBA game circ 1993 at the TD WAterhouse Centre in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1993 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

LeBron has won four NBA championships as compared to Jordan’s six titles. Jordan also played in a dominant Chicago Bulls side that won a three-peat two times. LeBron (35,426) has already surpassed Jordan (32,292)  on the points scored chart. The next task would be to surpass Karl Malone (36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387). LeBron could pass Malone this season if he averages 25 points per game.

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Can LeBron James surpass Michael Jordan for the GOAT title? Let us know in the comments section down below.

Watch this story: Giannis Antetokounmpos Incredible Block, Blake Griffin Emulating Ben Simmons & Other Highlights from Brooklyn Nets vs Milwaukee Bucks Opening Night Game

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Shalom Saldanha

151 articles

Shalom Saldanha is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his journalism degree, he has previously worked as a sports corresspondent for India Shorts/Business Upturn. A Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bucks fan, Shalom primarily got into the sport after discovering that he shared a mutual love for Arsenal with the 'Greek Freak'.

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