Poll: Charles Barkley vs Karl Malone
Our previous polls have mostly featured players with drastically different playing styles which allowed you to add a specific type of player to your 3x3 team roster. This week is a bit different as each of these Hall of Fame players is known for his incredible power and brute force. But when looking for a power forward to add to your 3x3 roster, why not look at two of the game’s biggest and best to ever play?
Standing just 6-feet-6-inches tall, Charles Barkley may not possess the typical height of a power forward, but his all-around skill set was far greater than most others at his position. Barkley’s shot and dribbling ability was closer to that of a guard, and he also excelled as a passer recording nearly 4 assists per game over his 16-year NBA career. As a member of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team, “The Round Mound of Rebound” won a pair of Olympic gold medals and was thought by many to be the best player on the 1992 Dream Team. In the ’92 Olympics, "Sir Charles” shot a team-best 71.1 percent from the floor, averaged a team-high 18.0 points per game and eclipsed 20 points in four of the team’s eight games. In the 1996 Games, Barkley posted a pair of double-doubles and finished averaging 12.4 points and a team-leading 6.6 rebounds per game.
Perhaps the most physically intimidating player in the history of basketball, Karl Malone not only looked the part, he may be the greatest power forward in the history of the game. Trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in total NBA points, Malone had a nine-year stretch over his career in which he averaged over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. A two-time NBA MVP award winner and 14-time NBA All-Star, it was only in his rookie year and in his final season as a pro that Malone didn’t average over 20 points per game. Also a two-time Olympic gold medalist with USA Basketball, he shared frontcourt duty with Barkley in 1992 and 1996. While wearing the USA's Red, White and Blue jersey, "The Mailman" averaged 13.0 points and 5.3 rebounds in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and 8.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.