Charles Barkley is widely considered one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history. ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith believes that Barkley is a superstar in his post-basketball role as an analyst as well.
Speaking on his podcast, "Know Mercy," Smith discussed Barkley. He said:
"Charles Barkley, an absolute superstar in the world of television. Hey, some people say I am and even I have to concede, I ain't Charles Barkley. I'm a bit different than him. I speak a little better. Charles knows I got love for him so I can get away with saying that - y'all can't but I can."
Smith went on to speak about Barkley's illustrious career. He added:
"Six-foot-four power forward, shorter than most, but still capable of out playing taller and quicker opponents throughout his career. Brother had it all. Hall of Fame career, never won a championship, wasn't his fault.
"Kept running into Michael Jordan. Ran into him in Phoenix, ran into him when he was in Philadelphia. I mean he's a problem, Michael Jordan was just the problem."
Smith added that Michael Jordan couldn't compete with Barkley on television. He said:
"Michael Jordan can't compare to Charles Barkley on television. That brother got a voice. So much so, I don't know if him and Michael Jordan will ever be friends again because he had to call Jordan out. You don't do that without talking to Jordan first now. I'm telling you from experience."
It's no surprise to see Barkley's television skills praised. "Inside the NBA", which Barkley hosts with Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson is widely considered the best basketball show on television.
Watch Stephen A. Smith discuss Charles Barkley below (starting at the 9:15 mark):
Charles Barkley and other stars who never won a title due to Michael Jordan
As Stephen A. Smith noted, Charles Barkley never won an NBA championship due to playing in the same era as Michael Jordan.
Barkley lost to Jordan's Chicago Bulls in 1990 and 1991 while he was with the Philadelphia 76ers. Following a trade to the Phoenix Suns, Barkley was finally able to reach the NBA Finals in 1993, his MVP season. Unfortunately, he would run into a familiar face, losing to the Bulls once again.
Barkley is not the only star player from the 1990s that was unable to win a ring due to Michael Jordan. Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, John Stockton and Reggie Miller were kept ringless during Jordan's run. Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson were the only two stars to win championships in the 1990s and both did so in the years where Jordan retired.
It is unheard of to dominate for a decade the way that Jordan did in the 1990s. While the era was filled with talented superstars, they all have a championship void on their resume. Like Barkley, they would all lose to Jordan at least once, with Ewing losing to Jordan's Bulls five times.