Charles Barkley Thinks What Separates Jordan From LeBron Is ‘Going Through The Struggle’

>The debate about LeBron James or Michael Jordan is a seemingly never-ending one that sports talk shows bring up at seemingly any point when they need to fill some time in the offseason.

That was the case on the most recent episode of Back On The Record with Bob Costas on HBO, as the legendary sports broadcaster sat down with Charles Barkley and the inevitable Jordan or LeBron question was brought up. Barkley explained that he still has LeBron not just behind Jordan but Kobe — something he’s said in the past — and said he dings James (and Durant and others) for stacking their teams rather than pushing through the struggle to win a championship in the place they started.

Barkley pointed to Giannis and the Bucks this summer as well as Dirk Nowitzki as other examples of players who went through those struggles with one team to emerge with a championship on the other side, as Jordan did on the Bulls after years of losing to the Celtics and Pistons. It is not a surprising argument from Barkley, as the way James left for Miami remains a thorn in his legacy for so many. However, to say James didn’t go through struggles and persevere seems to conveniently forget the 2016 title in Cleveland, as they toppled the team that beat them in 2015 and battled from a 3-1 deficit to do so.

That one of Jordan’s contemporaries views him as the best is not a surprise, and for many the “struggle” point from Barkley is one they’ll agree with. James has undoubtedly worked to get himself on teams with the best possible chance to win a title, but at the same token, what he did in Cleveland, even after a stint in Miami, would be hard to quantify as anything but pushing through the grind that Barkley speaks of.