Charles Barkley made another bold claim, stating that Michael Jordan had a better pairing with Horace Grant than Dennis Rodman.
Rodman is thought to be the greatest overall defender of all time by many aficionados. In his prime, he was able to guard 300-pound Shaq as effectively as a fast guard like Clyde Drexler. The 2-time Defensive Player of the Year led the league in rebounding for 7 consecutive seasons.
Former Sixers and Suns legend Charles Barkley has faced both these players at their peaks. Chuck has always believed in Michael Jordan’s excellence. Many think that the early Bulls were carried much harder by Jordan than his second threepeat team.
Barkley faced the first 3-peating Bulls in the Finals during his time with the Suns. He’d won his only MVP trophy that year and led them to a league-best 62-20 record. His Suns team is considered the most well-rounded offense faced by MJ in the playoffs.
Charles Barkley says Michael Jordan was better off with Horace Grant than Dennis Rodman
Speaking to baseball Hall of Famer Frank Thomas on his first ‘Hangin with Hurt’ podcast, Barkley talked at length about the Bulls. He also explained why he thought they were better off with Grant than Rodman:
“The Last Dance was really about the Dennis Rodman era, but I feel the team was better when they had Horace Grant because let me tell you something. Michael, Scottie, and Horace Grant are the three best defenders I’ve ever seen on a team in my life.”
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Barkley’s statement does not seem to hold much water. The Bulls had their 2 most successful seasons in history with Rodman on the roster, going 141-23 over 2 regular seasons. They also played better defense during their second threepeat than the first.