Barkley's answer might surprise you.
Charles Barkley will most likely go down in history as one of the best NBA players ever, who never won a championship. Barkley played 16 years in the NBA and was known for being a beast out on the court. While Barkley developed quite a few rivalries over the years, he's never been shy to pay respect to those who he felt were worthy adversaries. He knows when to give people their flowers and at a recent charity event, the NBA on TNT analyst revealed who he thought was the best player he's ever gone up against.
Barkley gave a surprising answer as he said Kevin McHale of the Boston Celtics was the best player he ever had to guard. McHale played 17 years in the NBA and won three championships with the Celtics throughout the 80s. He may not be a household name to today's NBA crowd, but he was definitely a great player at the time.
"He's one of the greatest basketball players ever, and I actually work with him now on television," Barkley said via Sports Illustrated. "He's the best player I ever played against and had to guard."
Barkley also said that McHale was practically impossible to stop on defense and that he used to have nightmares about him. Considering Barkley played against the likes of Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Magic Johnson, McHale is getting some pretty high praise here.