ATLANTA—Mocking the media’s glorification of a player who faced a supposedly soft, talent-deluded league, former NBA star Charles Barkley claimed Thursday that Michael Jordan would have been nothing special if he had played in Barkley’s era. “Look, I know Jordan was good, but guys in my day were just much tougher. He never could have gone toe to toe with players like Grant Hill and Karl Malone,” said Barkley, who predicted that Jordan wouldn’t have even sniffed the finals, let alone won six titles, if he had to contend with the physical play and brutal rivalries of the late ’80s and ’90s NBA. “I played against Dominique Wilkins, and he would have run Jordan off the court. Jordan’s a good scorer, no doubt, but when you are going up against guys like Olajuwon and Pippen? It’s just different. People like Jordan, acting like they are the greatest ever? They have no sense of history.” Barkley added that today’s social media-obsessed stars would have never cut it in a league with serious players like Dennis Rodman and Shaquille O’Neal.
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