Barkley: I never thought I’d compare anybody to Michael Jordan…


Turner Sports broadcaster Chares Barkley – who can be seen alongside Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith on TNT’s popular Inside the NBA studio show, has given an interview to SI.com, and discussed a lot of things, including his former NBA opponents, future NBA stars, and the favorite teams in the league now.

Barkley started off with praising Lebron James, who, according to Barkley, could be compared to Michael Jordan, if he wins 4-5 more NBA championships.

“I never thought I would compare anybody to Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan had the perfect body. He was 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds. LeBron James is 6-8, weighs 260 pounds, he’s as fast as Michael Jordan and can jump like Michael Jordan. We’ve never had anything like him in the NBA,” Barkley said.

Barkley added that “as great as I think Kobe Bryant is, he is a notch below Michael Jordan”, adding that Lebron could reach that same high level if he has more championship rings.

“Take Shaquille O’Neal, for instance. Well, we had a Wilt Chamberlain. Kobe Bryant? Well, we had a Michael Jordan. But we ain’t never had a guy like LeBron James. It’s a freak of nature to be that gifted,” Barkley noted.

Speaking of Dwight Howard, now a LA Lakers center, Barkley said he likes the guy, who although has made some bad decisions.

“People want to assume things because he has been around awhile, but he’s only like, what, 26 years old? He’s a great guy who has made a bunch of indecisions, but I’m gonna give him a pass because he is a good guy,” said Barkley.

Asked why Shaquille O’Neal always dogging Howard on TV, Barkley said he asked Shaq the same thing.

“I asked him about it. He says he is trying to motivate Dwight. Listen, if you just go by pure numbers, the guy [Howard] has been amazing. Defensive Player of the Year. Leading the league in blocked shots and rebounding. I tried to explain this to Shaq, but Shaq is so physically amazing that he wants Dwight to be him. I said, “Dude, nobody is you. Wilt Chamberlain was the only person comparable to you,” Barkley said.

Barkley said believes Howard will be dominating the Western Conference.

“I think he’s going to dominate because he has been dominating. The stuff that he does, it travels. He blocks shots, he rebounds, things like that. That stuff always travels. If you need the ball to be successful, those types of guys can struggle when you go to a new team and you have to worry if you will get your shot. But Dwight is the best rebounder in the game, the best shot-blocker in the game,” he said.

When asked what are the best cities to travel as a broadcaster, Barkley had his picks ready.

“Anytime you go New York, L.A., Miami, Chicago, the energy in those cities is amazing. I love the restaurants. The only thing that sucks is fans want you to pick their team. They want you to say everything positive about their favorite players. When we travel, one city loves me and one city hates me,” Barkley underscored.

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