Just two days into the current National Basketball Association season, legendary Hall-of-Famer and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley is making waves with his recent take on the LeBron James/Kawhi Leonard “King of LA” saga. During an interview Wednesday with Ben Golliver of the Washington Post, the outspoken basketball icon touched on the subject and had this to say:
“I don’t hesitate,” Barkley said, when asked about the brewing rivalry between James and Leonard. “At this stage, Kawhi is a better player than LeBron. He does everything better. He’s a better defender, a better scorer, he’s better at imposing his will on the game. You just saw him will a good Toronto team to the championship. They played Philadelphia and then Milwaukee [in the playoffs], and it’s fair to say they were underdogs in both of those series. But Kawhi would not let them lose.”
Since the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers by a score of 112-102 on Tuesday night, a majority of media outlets have engaged in a great debate on who is actually the best player in the NBA.
James didn’t look his usual self during the game. He struggled to get comfortable offensively while attempting to run the Lakers’ offense through newly-acquired All-NBA performer Anthony Davis. As a result, he was very inefficient regarding his shooting for the game and looked a step slower than usual on defense. Speaking with reporters after the game, he even admitted that he was “a little rusty” during his first game back after missing the end of last season with a groin injury.
For years, the 34-year-old James has been the unquestioned “best player on the planet”. However, after an incredible performance during last year’s playoffs where he willed the Toronto Raptors to their first championship, and a dominant performance against James two days ago…many are coming to the conclusion it’s actually Kawhi who will carry the torch moving forward as he enters the prime years of his career.
The outspoken Barkley also added, “You don’t get to have the mantle of best player for your whole life. It passes on. [Anthony Davis] is going to have to be the best player on the Lakers if they’re going to win the championship. Father Time is undefeated.”
Header Photo Credit: Clutch Points