View Single Post
Old 06-27-2012, 05:40 PM   #1
Very good NBA starter
eliteballer's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 8,621
Default Barkley: I'm better than Malone

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 **** else could I have done if only four guys did the **** 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.)

I express my own opinion about the Charles-or-Karl debate in Dream Team. But there is little doubt that the Barkley of Barcelona was the best Barkley ever.
eliteballer is offline   Reply With Quote