“Game 2 I played as well as I could play, and Michael just outplayed me. That was probably the first time in my life that I felt like there was a better basketball player in the world than me, to be honest with you,”-Charles Barkley
I watched that and I felt a bit of sadness for Charles Barkley. He was unbelievable that night. Biggest game of Barkley's life and he absolutely showed up. Filled the stat sheet. 42 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists. A virtually perfect game on the NBA's biggest stage. It just didn't matter. Jordan outplayed him. Jordan went for 42 points, 12 boards, and 9 assists. That is the story of the 90s. Just an endless of guys who are no doubt, all-time great, Hall of Fame players that Jordan left in his wake.
Last night we got a lot of Dream Team stuff. Everyone says that was the greatest team of all-time. 11 hall of famers. Magic Johnson...Jordan beat him the 1991 Finals. Drexler...Jordan destroyed him in 1992. Barkley in 1993. Jordan ran over Ewing several times on his way to the NBA Final. Stockton and Malone twice. Jordan denied so many generational talents a championship because he was just that much better than the rest of the league. His hit list in unmatched. Add more hall of famers like Reggie Miller and Gary Payton too. And if he had hadn't retired twice you can probably add Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson to the list of Hall of Fame players that Jordan shut out. I hate when people(Isiah Thomas) say that Jordan didn't have to go through any dominant teams. Bullshit. All of those guys were good enough to be the best players of Championship level teams in other eras. It's just that they existed in an era when their absolute best wasn't good enough.