Charles Barkley.

Charles Barkley picks Kawhi Leonard as NBA's best all-around player

Published 2 Comments

For many people, the 2015-16 NBA season has brought about a changing of the guard in terms of the league's best player.

With Stephen Curry taking his game to another level as the Golden State Warriors chase history, he has surpassed LeBron James in a lot of people's opinion.

Not in the eyes of Charles Barkley however, the Hall of Famer instead telling Sporting News this week that Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs deserves the title:

Article continues below

"Kawhi Leonard is the best all-around player in the NBA," Barkley explained during an event to promote the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

"It was LeBron (James). Steph Curry is the best offensive player. But LeBron is kind of on the downside."

Article continues below

Barkley voiced a similar opinion earlier this year but, in doubling down on his claim, he is leaving no one in any doubt as to just how highly he rates San Antonio's 24-year-old small forward.

Case for Kawhi

Despite Leonard's more low-key profile compared to Curry or James, it is definitely possible to make a case for him when it comes to the all-around game.

The 2014 NBA Finals MVP has always been a lockdown player on defense since entering the league and, having found another gear on offense this season, he is a genuine two-way player, unlike Curry who's game is centered around scoring and making baskets.

NBA All-Star Game 2016

Leonard is averaging 21 points per game this year and shooting .465 from beyond the arc. Add those numbers to his ability to handle the best players in the league attacking his own basket, and he can do almost anything you ask of him on the hardwood.

LeBron is undoubtedly one of the most dominant two-way players to play the game but, on the wrong side of 30, he is perhaps past his peak in that regard. Leonard, meanwhile, is becoming the driving force as San Antonio enjoy their own sensational season.

Staking their claim

As is the case with any debates of this kind, there will always be differing opinions and you can make a case for any three of the names mentioned by Barkley.

With all three players bound for the playoffs with their respective franchises, the debate will likely have a new chapter when the 2016 Finals are done with.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said earlier this season that Leonard was probably the best two-way player in the league right now.

Golden State Warriors v Atlanta Hawks

If the young star is able to help San Antonio bypass Golden State in Western conference this season, it will be pretty hard to argue against the claims of Barkley and the GSW head coach.

Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
San Antonio Spurs
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Kawhi Leonard
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Stephen Curry
LeBron James

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport - NBA Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again