Phoenix Suns legend Charles Barkley had no doubts about him winning league MVP over Michael Jordan. Sir Charles was the best player and had the best record in the NBA during the 1992-93 season.
NBA legends Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan have shared a bitter-sweet relationship over the years, with Barkley lately stating that they don’t talk anymore. The two veterans were dominant pillars of the league during the 90s.
However, the two superstars were at loggerheads during the 1992-93 season. While Barkley had a landmark year-winning league MVP, Jordan was on a quest for a 3-peat. During the time the MJ-led Bulls dominated the NBA, having an image of being unbeatable.
Barkley was confident about coming out of the west and facing the Bulls in the Finals. The 11x All-Star would instill the same belief in his team and had conviction, especially after acquiring Dan Majerle and Kevin Johnson.
The Suns and the Bulls met each other twice during the regular season, with the record being 1-1. Barkley averaged 24 PPG, 8.0 RPG, and 2.5 SPG, shooting 56.3% from the field. Thus the NBA Finals would play the decider between Barkley and Jordan.
Charles Barkley rubbished Michael Jordan’s MVP claims.
Sir Charles had the best year of his career during the 1992-93 season. The superstar averaged 25.6 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 5.1 APG, and 1.6 SPG on a 52.0% shooting from the field. The Suns had the best record in the NBA at the time (62-20).
Barkley would win MVP that would rub MJ the wrong way. The Bulls superstar believed the accolade belonged to him. However, Barkley rubbished Jordan’s claims.
“No. 1, he didn’t deserve it. We had the best record in the NBA. Michael should know better. There were years he was the best player in the NBA probably three years before he won MVP, but the Bulls team was no good. The MVP has always gone to the best player on the team with the best record. It has nothing to do with best player.”
Thus the Suns would coast through the western conference to face the MJ-led Bulls in the 1993 NBA Finals. Despite the odds being highly in favor of Jordan, Barkley didn’t back down from a fight instilling the same in his team.
The Bulls would defeat the Suns in 6 games and go on to 3-peat, with Jordan winning the Finals MVP. Barkley, who averaged 27.3 PPG and 13 RPG during the Finals, felt his team was intimidated.
Many pundits believed had Barkley had more help, he would have defeated the Bulls in the Finals. However, one cannot take anything away from MJ, who would 3-peat again from 1996-98.