NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 2, 2013

Better than peers, LeBron's competition is history

(Continued)

were going to outmuscle him?

James is quicker than most guards and

stronger than just about every big man. He can play or defend all five

positions, and even the 6-6 Jordan couldn’t match all James’ physical

tools.

“I don’t think his physical advantages were as great as LeBron is,” Barkley said.

Barkley

even draws a comparison between James and Wilt Chamberlain, another

player who athletically just blew away the competition. Nobody will ever

put up the kind of stats the 7-1 Chamberlain did — he averaged 50.4

points and 25.7 rebounds one season — but Barkley sees a similarity.

“I

never seen Wilt play in person, but he was somebody who was just so

physically better than everybody else,” Barkley said. “Wilt probably

never got his credit because the Celtics had

much better teams, but like, the guy averaged 50 points and 30 rebounds

in a year. You’re like ... that’s crazy. LeBron is so much physically

bigger and better than everyone else, like, Wilt’s the only other person

you would think is in that conversation.”

Kevin Durant might win a

fourth straight scoring title, but after the Heat have beaten Oklahoma

City six straight times dating to the NBA Finals and have a better

record, it would be awfully difficult to pick him over James as the

league’s MVP. Parker’s team has had the best record for a while even

while having to play so often without either Tim Duncan or Manu

Ginobili, but in typical Spurs fashion, he insists he’s more interested

in team success than individual recognition. Chris Paul, who has turned

the Clippers from longtime laughingstock into a legitimate contender,

seems more of a James cheerleader than MVP threat.

“What Bron is

doing right now is unbelievable, I mean unbelievable,” Paul said. “The

way he’s playing, the confidence that he’s playing with, and the biggest

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