When it comes to basketball, Michael Jordan is almost the unanimous GOAT. With the way he dominated the game and the resume he built up over the course of his 15-year career, it’s no wonder why he’s revered so much by his peers, the fans, and the community as a whole.
In fact, he’s often considered the greatest athlete in all of sports. In a chat with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt, former NBA star Charles Barkley explained why Jordan and famous golf legend Tiger Woods are the two GOATS of sporting history.
“I’ve been in this game since 1984, the game of fame and NBA,” Barkley said. “Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods are the two greatest athletes I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve been around a lot of movie stars, I’ve been around a lot of great athletes. Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods are the only two guys I’ve ever been around where people actually lose their minds when they see them or are in the room with them.”
For Barkley, he said both Tiger and Michale gave him a “feeling” that didn’t exist for anyone else.
“It was an honor and a privilege to play against Michael. It was an honor and a privilege to watch Tiger in his prime,” Barkley said. “Those are the only two guys — as much as I love Magic and Bird, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, and in football, you got Tom Brady who’s the greatest football player ever — when you’re around Michael and Tiger, there’s a different animal. You realize like, I’m around something that’s crazy and special.”
The way in which both players made the game personal has really impacted how Barkley feels about them.
“That’s what made him the GOAT. He takes everything personally,” Barkley said. “It was an honor and a privilege to compete against him. No disrespect to Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain; the best I’ve ever seen in my life is Michael Jordan, and it was an honor and a privilege to play against him. He’s the best I’ve ever seen. Him and Tiger Woods — those two guys are the best I’ve ever seen at what they do.”
Certainly, both Michael and Tiger dominated their sports like no athlete has before or since. Barkley is certainly sold on them as sports’ greatest stars — and even though it’s a subjective matter, you really can’t go wrong with those names.