“LeBron, KD, Giannis, James, Kawhi. Those are the five best basketball players in my opinion,” says NBA legend Charles Barkley, before getting angry when TNT studio mate Kenny Smith asks whether Barkley realizes he’s leaving out two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry. “You don’t think Steph Curry’s in that equation?” Smith asks.
Barkley says Curry’s “not in front of these guys” and lists them again. Only four out of Barkley’s five best players made the playoffs this year, with LeBron James missing in his first season with the Lakers. The other four: James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant are either already in the second round or on their way. Three of Barkley’s five best have been named NBA MVP: Durant (2014), James (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013) and Harden (2018). Antetokounmpo may well make it four of five this year.
Barkley didn’t say whether Curry was #6 on his list. Curry has already won the NBA MVP accolade twice, back to back in 2015 and 2016, making him the only active player not on Barkley’s list to have two NBA MVP awards. Curry is also the only NBA player in history to be voted MVP in a unanimous vote, winning every first place vote available. That gives Steph Curry one more MVP trophy than Barkley himself, who won the award in 1993.
Chuck made a list of the Top 5 players in the NBA right after waking up from his nap. 😂 pic.twitter.com/493uJQeH6U
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 22, 2019