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“Any media person that I see in person for the rest of my life who try to tell me that LeBron James is as good as Michael Jordan, I’m just going to slap the hell out of them right on the spot […] No questions asked,” Barkley said on live TV on Friday night. “The next person who walks up to me and says ‘LeBron James, he was amazing. As good as Michael Jordan’ or ‘competes like Michael Jordan,’ I’m just going to slap the hell out of you right on the spot, and I’m going to take my chances with the judicial system.”
Barkley made the bold statement shortly after the Golden State Warriors secured their third NBA title in four years. The team defeated the LeBron-led Cavaliers, 108-85, in a four-game sweep.
Though LeBron now holds a 3-6 record in the NBA Finals—while Jordan went 6-0—some fans aren’t convinced this is an adequate reflection of the King’s status. Even Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr admits the legendary athletes are comparable.
“I get asked all the time about MJ, LeBron, and it's such a difficult question to ask,” Kerr told reporters following Game 4. “All I know is they're the two best players that I've ever witnessed. They're very different, but however you want to rank them, they're right there together.”