Charles Barkley is one of the best big men to ever play the game of basketball — that much is certain. But the biggest blemish on Barkley’s career, and the reason he doesn’t rank higher on the NBA’s All-Time players list, is his lack of a title win.
With zero Championships to his name, Barkley is often grouped with guys like Steve Nash, Karl Malone, and Allen Iverson who suffered similar failures in their otherwise stellar careers.
He came close multiple times, including with the Rockets in the later stages of his career. But, according to Barkley, had he won one with Houston during those years, he wouldn’t have counted it at all.
“I wouldn’t even have counted that as a championship,” Barkley said. “I’m not gonna lie. Me and Karl Malone. If he had won a championship with the Lakers, that doesn’t count. That doesn’t count.”
Barkley clearly doesn’t believe in taking the easy path to victory — as evidenced by his comments about Kevin Durant.
“I’m never gonna be happy with that,” Barkley said of Durant’s decision to leave Oklahoma City. “When I was going to demand to get traded, I didn’t say I wanted to play in Chicago, Boston or the Lakers. I just wanted to go to a team where I had a chance to compete.”
Is having no ring better than having a ring by questionable means? It seems that Barkley would have us believe that narrative, but if you ask a guy like KD (who’s a two-time Champion) he’d probably have a thing or two to say about it.
Nevertheless, there’s no changing things now.