Charles Barkley says LeBron James will never touch his seven greatest ever players

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LeBron James literally accomplished what many people considered impossible last week when he led his hometown franchise to it's first ever NBA championship.

He didn't just win the title, though, he did it by driving the Cavs from 3-1 down in the series to make an unprecedented comeback and take the Finals in seven games.

He did this against the reigning NBA Champions the Golden State Warriors, who were fresh off a record-setting 73 win season.

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James was voted the unanimous MVP for his jaw-dropping performances in the Finals where he boasted averages of 29.7 points, 8.9 assists, 11.3 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.3 blocks, as well as leading both teams in points, rebounds, blocks and steals for the series.

Frankly, performing to that level on the biggest stage is pretty ridiculous.

However, after adding a third championship ring to his collection, and making good on his promise to bring a championship to his hometown organisation, it appears not everyone believes King James has arrived as an all-time NBA great.

Inside the NBA on TNT panelist and NBA legend Charles Barkley refuses to let the Cavaliers stalwart enter his top seven ever. Barkley was quoted as revealing his top seven on the Mike and Mike ESPN radio show as, in order, Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan.

Seemingly, no matter what LeBron does, there is no way he can crack that illustrious list.

Talking on Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, Barkley insisted he admired what James had accomplished and there is probably a better kind of accolade to don the forward with than greatest player ever.

“I’m not going to just move him past Tim Duncan and Kobe. They didn’t just die,” Barkley said. “But I will say this about LeBron James: I’ve never seen a man coming out of high school who has handled the success, been a great player, never got in a stitch of trouble. It’s probably been the greatest career ever.”

That's an interesting take on James and also begs the question: if a player has the greatest career of all-time, are they not in the conversation for the best player too?

It's a strange analysis by Barkley who has become prone to outlandish statements in his role as a panelist on TV. Of course, James' career isn't over and he may well go on to win more titles and influence the game in more profound ways that Barkley, not we, can foresee yet.

Still, Bill Russell, one of Barkley's top seven, managed eleven NBA titles in his 13-year career. Is that not a great career by all standards? Whilst the King of the Cavs may not be in that top seven just yet, he's certainly knocking on the door whether Barkley can admit it or not.

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