Hall of Fame basketball legend Rick Barry says LeBron James is the greatest small forward to ever play the game. And he thinks James can get even better. Barry told Scott Ferrall of CBS Radio that of all the great small forwards– including Scottie Pippen, Elgin Baylor and Larry Bird — that James is the best. “There’s never been anybody like him with his size, his athleticism, his feel for the game,” said Barry. Wait, better than Bird — with his three rings and sport-changing game?
Yup, especially if you look at Barry’s three considerations. Bird had the feel, and the height if not the size, but Bird would be the first to tell you James is head and shoulders above him athletically. There’s still the matter of pure shooting, where Bird has an edge, but add defense and LeBron James comes out on top.