According to Charles Barkley, both LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are not among the top five NBA players of all-time.

Charles Barkley, LeBron James, Kobe BryantMitchell Leff / Getty Images

The former NBA all-star explained his position to Kentucky coach John Calipari this week. 

“You know, I love LeBron and everything about him but I still think that the way they play the game today he didn’t want any part of those bad boy Pistons,” Barkley said. “Let me tell you something, those guys were out there trying to hurt people. I used to always tell people when you were playing the Pistons you had to call home and tell your family you love them just in case you never saw them again.”

As for who Barkley does feel deserve the top five recognition, Barkley says, “Michael’s one, Oscar Robertson’s two,” Barkley said. “[Bill] Russell, Wilt [Chamberlain] and Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], no particular order after Michael. Kobe six, LeBron seven, then you’ve got Elgin Baylor, Jerry West.”

James is a three-time NBA champion and had a strong chance to make it four before the coronavirus derailed the 2019-20 NBA season. The Lakers are currently first in the Western Conference with a record of 49-14 while the NBA is in limbo.