Charles Barkley Thinks He’s One of the Top 20 Players Who Ever Lived & Better Than Karl Malone
Sports Illustrated author Jack McCallum is set to release a book on the 1992 Dream Team in July. In the lead-up to the hardcover release, the writer has decided to release short stories involving the book. This section features on the life and career of Charles Barkley, and is well worth a read. The part that we took out involves Barkley claiming he was a much better overall player than Karl Malone.
Check out what he had to say & let us know what you think…
According to jackmccallum.net:
The player with whom Charles will march lockstep into history, though, is another Dream Team mate—Karl Malone. Understand that Barkley’s comments should be prefaced by this: He and Malone are good friends. They both have complimentary things to say about each other, on and off the record, and it’s not forced. But here is Charles’s take on his talents compared to Malone’s.
“Look, I’m in the top twenty of players who ever lived,” says Charles. “When I first started out, they said, ‘He’ll never make it. Too short.’ That never even concerned me. Because you know what? I could get all my stuff on my own.
“You take Karl. Karl needed John Stockton. That’s not a knock on Karl; it’s just a fact. I could get mine any time I wanted to. So I’ll say it on the record: I was better than Karl. Nothing against Karl. He was great. But I was better. The only thing he did better than me was score, and that came down to John Stockton.
I ask Charles how much better he would’ve been had he dedicated himself to conditioning like Malone. (In Dream Team Clyde Drexler gives a fascinating answer to that question.)
“I always laugh when I hear that,” says Charles. “There are four guys who got 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists. So I’m saying, ‘What the fuck else could I have done if only four guys did the shit I did?’ Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem and me.”
(Actually, Charles has the number right but the players wrong—Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Malone and Barkley are the only ones in this exclusive club.)
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