Charles Barkley explains why LeBron James’ story is the best in sports history

Jason Simpson
4 Min Read

Former NBA superstar Charles Barkley believes Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has the best story in the history of sports.

Barkley spoke about James’ story after he was asked whether the future Hall of Famer is the best player ever.

“I don’t like that question because I think the best way to answer that question is to say, ‘Is he the greatest player of this generation?'” Barkley told Sports Illustrated. “Because I don’t think it’s fair to Michael [Jordan]. ’Cause he was the greatest player of my generation. Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] was the greatest player of his generation. I mean, you look at Magic [Johnson] and [Larry] Bird. So, I don’t know; it’s all perspective. I will say this about LeBron. I think his story is the greatest story in sports history.”

The Hall of Famer explained his view.

“What I mean by that is, you look at other great players who went directly from high school to the pros,” he said. “Kobe Bryant struggled, Kevin Garnett struggled, Tracy McGrady struggled, Dwight Howard struggled. LeBron is the only one who had success from Day One. He was really good Day One. He’s obviously up here now. But the most amazing thing about him, in this 24-hour news cycle, cellphones, internet, he’s never gotten in trouble.”

The 1993 MVP added more.

“No scandal,” he said of James’ admirable track record. “To be, number one, ready at 18, to where he is 20 years later, the greatest scorer in NBA history. I think it’s the greatest story in sports history. For a guy to be that good from Day One and never screw up is amazing.”

Barkley also spoke about the hype that James dealt with when he entered the league

“Yes,” he said. “And lived up to it. Exceeded it. And, like I say, in our 24-hour news cycle where people out here tryin’ to get you, people are tryin’ to get you today. They got cellphones everywhere; they got the internet everywhere. I tell people, his story is the greatest story in sports history.”

Nearly twenty years after entering the NBA, James is still adding to his legacy. The 38-year-old has a resume that includes four championships, four league MVP awards, four Finals MVP awards, 19 All-Star selections and 18 All-NBA nods.

His story is one that has certainly inspired countless folks around the world, and it’s nice to see how much respect a fellow NBA legend like Barkley has for everything James has built.

On the floor, James recently saw some game action for the first time in weeks. He returned to the court on Sunday after missing 13 straight games with a foot injury.

The superstar’s return is a welcome development for the 2022-23 Lakers, who are looking to shock the world and go on a deep playoff run this season. If James were to lead his squad to an NBA title this year, it would likely go down as one of the most memorable accomplishments of his career.

Once James’ NBA career ends, his story certainly won’t stop there. There’s been a lot of talk about him eventually owning an NBA team, which would give him a chance to remain active in the basketball landscape for years to come.

Outside of the basketball world, James is surely going to find other ways to add to his legacy as well. He has already touched many lives through projects like his I Promise School, and he’s likely far from finished.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.