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Charles Barkley Reveals His Mount Rushmore Of NBA Players: "Without Those Guys, Players Wouldn't Be Making $50 Million A Year."

Charles Barkley Reveals His Mount Rushmore Of NBA Players- "Without Those Guys, Players Wouldn't Be Making $50 Million A Year."

There have been many great players over the NBA's 75-year history. From Wilt Chamberlain to Stephen Curry, the league has rarely been without a top-tier, generational talent.

In a recent chat with other prominent voices in the basketball world, Charles Barkley spoke about some of the legends that have impacted him the most and revealed his "Mount Rushmore" of greats:

"I think the debate about who's the greatest is lazy because you have to break down generations. These are the most important figures in basketball, in my opinion. You talk about Mr. Russell who is the most important as far as social justice, then Kareem. Then you got to Magic and Bird. Then Michael. Then you got Kobe. Then you got LeBron. They're all on the Mount Rushmore in my opinion. So I like to talk about all those guys because I think without those guys, guys wouldn't be making $50 million a year."

It's the old-school legends who have paved the way for a lot of these stars today. Without them and their dominant play, things would be very different today. 

As far as the most impactful players go, Chuck nailed it. Russell, Magic, Michael, and LeBron all changed the NBA in crazy and amazing ways that nobody else would have been able to.

Regarding Barkley's take on the GOAT argument, he also has a valid point:

“I think it’s lazy," Barkley argued in a chat with Renee Paquette. "Michael has been retired for a 100 years. And why are we trying to worry about him against a guy today?… A lot of these guys do radio. As a friend of mine said who is a famous radio guy, he says ‘Charles, my only job is to get these to fools to call in in order to fill four hours every day. That’s my job. That’s the way this business works. I got to be on the radio for four hours every day. I just kind of come up with a subject that these fools gonna argue with me for four hours and it’s very interesting. You know you’re gonna get the old people calling in to defend Michael, you’re gonna get all the young kids calling in to defend LeBron or throw some Kobe in there, some of the older people are gonna throw Kareem in there. But I just think it’s lazy. Michael was the greatest I played against, I got a lot of love and respect for LeBron, he’s a great great player and an amazing man… I just think it’s a lazy debate. It’s just lazy. The guys didn’t play against each other. It’s totally different now.”

With so many great players in basketball history, there is never going to be a unanimous answer on which star goes above the others. While it's fun to argue and debate on the ranking of stars, there is no real way to determine who is the best among them.

All we can do is appreciate what each has brought to the court and admire what today's stars are doing while they're still playing.