Charles Barkley is definitely one of the best NBA players to never win a ring. The Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns legend tried hard to win that championship, but big rivals prevented him from fulfilling his dream.
That's something many people will always have against him, but Chuck isn't bothered by that. He's very content with the things he did on the court and even believes that with the right cast, he would have been able to grab a couple of championships.
During an interview on The Dan Patrick Show, the 1993 NBA MVP was telling a story of when Chuck Daly called him the second-best player he had seen, naming Michael Jordan the first one. Then, Patrick asked Chuck if Daly had same the same as Larry Bird, which sparked another discussion about whether Barkley was better than Bird.
"Am I better than Bird? That's a great question. I'm a better rebounder, I'm probably a better defender, he's a better shooter, obviously. You know, a lot of people talk about who's better... I think I do better things than him, but if you give me [Robert] Parish, [Kevin] McHale, and DJ [Dennis Johnson], I'm gonna be alright."
As Chuck explained, using the example of LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Michael Jordan, having the right pieces around you increases your chances of winning trophies. He had good teams but faced other squads with better rosters which made his job impossible to carry out. That's why he left for the Houston Rockets and formed a superteam to see if he could win a 'chip.
This is a debate that has hardly ever been brought up to the table, and the answers can be interesting. Still, Bird had a better career, and was considered the greatest small forward of all time until LeBron James showed up. He did incredible things on the court, and beat Barkley 21-14 in head-to-head matchups.