Charles Barkley applauded NBA veteran and legend Lebron James ahead of last night’s league opener between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers, praising him for never “got into trouble” amid the constant scrutiny he’d been given. undergoes.
The man famously nicknamed “Chuck” was back on TNT’s broadcast of “Inside the NBA” along with Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Earnie Johnson for the first time since Golden State won it all in June.
He had only good things to say about James prior to his 19th year in the league and acknowledged his work ethic, attitude and behavior off the field since graduating from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Ohio and participated in the 2003 draft shortly after.
“I think what LeBron has accomplished is perhaps the greatest story in sports history,” Barkley said ahead of Tuesday’s game. “For number one, you look at Kobe, Kevin Garnett, guys like that, they weren’t good players when they first got into the NBA.”
LeBron James would have the ‘greatest sports story of all time’ by HOF Charles Barkley
Barkley’s comments come a week after he signed a huge 10-year extension with Turner
“LeBron is the only player in my 40 years in the NBA who played great from day one. And to make sure he becomes one of the best players ever, he never got in trouble, especially in this 24-hour social media news cycle.”
“To make him as great as he has been from year 18 to where he is today, I think it’s one of the greatest stories in sports history. He was so good from day one,” he added.
James has averaged 27.1 points, 7.4 assists and 34.6 percent from behind the arc since entering the league as a 19-year-old, never scoring less than 20 points per game on average per season.
‘The King’ is also often compared to Michael Jordan in debates about the greatest basketball player of all time. Throughout his stellar career, he has won four NBA rings, four MVP trophies, and has been named an All-Star 18 times since 2005.
James has played ‘great from day one’ and has ‘never got in trouble’, says Barkley
James is often in the discussion for the greatest NBA player of all time with Michael Jordan
This season, James’ main expectation is to surpass Kareem-Abdul Jabbar’s record, which stands at 38,387 points. The 37-year-old comes just below average with 1,326 points.
On Tuesday night, James had 31 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists, while Russell Westbrook scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds after sustaining a sore left hamstring in a 123-109 loss to the Warriors in San Francisco.
Anthony Davis added 27 points, but the Lakers couldn’t keep up in another signature runaway third quarter by reigning NBA Finals MVP Curry and Co.
“That third quarter is where they always excelled, when they made the transition to a powerful team,” James said. “You always have to be ready for the third quarter, and we weren’t tonight.”
Barkley’s eulogy on James comes after he signed a new long-term deal with TNT worth more than $100 million after he flirted with the idea of beating LIV Golf over the summer.
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