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SportCharles Barkley calls Kevin McHale 'best player I ever played against'

18:10  18 july  2019
18:10  18 july  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Charles Barkley calls Kevin McHale 'best player I ever played against'© Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — When it comes to the greatest NBA player of all-time debate, Charles Barkley has a clear answer to who he thinks takes that title.

Barkley, a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member, sarcastically said that Michael Jordan was overrated before he quickly added that Jordan was his choice as the greatest player of all-time.

The toughest player whom Barkley, now an analyst with TNT, had to go up against, though? His choice was fellow Hall of Famer Kevin McHale.

"He's one of the greatest basketball players ever, and I actually work with him now on television," Barkley said during remarks at Tuesday's 32nd annual Stake and Burger event benefiting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Rutherford County, Tennessee. "He's the best player I ever played against and had to guard."

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McHale was a power forward with the Boston Celtics from 1980-93 while Barkley played with the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets in a career that lasted from 1984-2000.

Barkley ended his career averaging 22.1 points and 11.7 rebounds per game compared to McHale's 17.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. While Barkley finished his career with better numbers, McHale won three NBA championships in 1981, 1984 and 1986.

Barkley also had high praise for some other players he played against back in the 1980s and 1990s.

"I enjoyed playing against players like Larry Bird and Karl Malone because they were great," Barkley said. "When you're at this level, you're better than 99% of the people in the world, so there's a few guys you look at it and go, 'That guy is just as good as me.' So whenever you meet someone like that, it's a big deal.

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"When you go against guys like that, it's special."

Follow Joe Spears on Twitter @joe_spears7.

This article originally appeared on Murfreesboro Daily News Journal: Charles Barkley calls Kevin McHale 'best player I ever played against'

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