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Barkley thinks LeBron can be better than Jordan

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Miami Heat basketball player LeBron James speaks during the team's NBA media day in Miami, Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Barkley thinks LeBron James can be better than Michael Jordan.

Jordan is considered by many the best player in NBA history, but Barkley believes his teammate with the Dream Team can be surpassed by James.

"I do think he can be better than Michael," Barkley said. "I thought I would never compare somebody to Michael Jordan. But this guy, LeBron James, he does everything well. Michael did everything well. LeBron James is just bigger, stronger, faster. That's the only difference."

Barkley makes his comments on the first episode of NBA TV's "Open Court," to debut Tuesday at 11 p.m. EDT. The series features a round-table discussion of NBA TV and TNT commentators. They include Shaquille O'Neal, Reggie Miller, Kenny Smith, Steve Smith, Chris Webber, Steve Kerr and Ernie Johnson.

James won his first NBA title and third MVP award last season, joining Jordan as the only players to win the NBA title, regular-season MVP, NBA Finals MVP and Olympic gold medal in the same year.

Jordan won six championships during his Hall of Fame career.

"Unfortunately for LeBron, now that the monkey is off his back, he is going to be compared to two people: Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan," O'Neal said. "So now the question is how many championships can he get? We all know he is a competitor."

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