Charles Barkley Is Adamant That Tom Brady Is The Greatest Athlete Of All-Time

July 10th, 2021

Charles Barkley fans know that the former Round Mound of Rebound never has a soft opinion but also masterfully manages to avoid hot takes.

Hanging out on the Brother From Another podcast this week, the subject of choosing the ultimate GOAT came up, and Barkley said there is no debate.

“Do you really believe that Tom Brady is the best athlete of all-time?” Barkley was asked.

Barkley did not flinch.

“Oh, yes I do and I don’t think it’s even close, to be honest with you,” Barkley replied. “That man played in 10 Super Bowls and he’s won 7. Think about that.

“The one thing I think you have to factor in, when you play football, every [playoff] game is a Game 7. In the NBA, if you’ve got Michael Jordan or, Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] or LeBron, you’ve got the best player; it’s a lot easier to win those four games in a seven-game series.

“When you in the NFL playoffs, every playoff game is a Game 7. I don’t even know what’s more ridiculous. The fact that he’s won seven Super Bowls or that he played or he played in 10. I’m like, are you kidding me? Ten!

“Like I say, he’s won seven but he’s played in 10.  … When you play every game that’s a Game 7, that’s pressure. I mean, in the NBA, you can lose three games and still win the series and then you can still say, ‘I won the championship.’ Every time you lose a NFL playoff game, the season is over. And for this man to play in 10 Super Bowls and win seven, hey, you gotta give that man his due.”

To make matters more fun, Barkley insisted that the Bucs should be better this season. And he said that Brady should have retired after knocking off Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs. But the fact that Brady didn’t retire even further adds to his mystique as the greatest ever to play any game.

Keep in mind that Barkley is a 25-year friend of Bill Belicheat, which is a fun story that many NBA fans know well.

43 Responses to “Charles Barkley Is Adamant That Tom Brady Is The Greatest Athlete Of All-Time”

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    His leadership in so many areas of the game count as much as his athleticism. That combination likely makes him the number one football player of all time. Physical ability plus the ability to lead a team.

  2. Buczilla Says:

    The best football player of all time for sure, but putting him ahead of Jordan, Gretzky, and Ali is tough for me. Maybe if he wins one more super bowl with us, I’ll have no choice. 😜

  3. sgrd0q Says:

    Also, football intelligence, awareness and reading defenses.

  4. SOEbuc Says:

    This sh*t is so dumb. SAS will call Lebron the greatest athlete of all time in sports. Lebrons the GOAT of basketball, not the true GOAT. Beginning with just the physicality and so much more of football and Tom won a Super Bowl year one 2020 at 43.

    For anyone that didn’t know, Montana said Brady was the GOAT after the Super Bowl. That’s quite a recommendation. Better than SAS at least, right?

  5. Bird Says:

    Best athlete is someone who can dominate any sport/ multiple sports

    Bo jackson or jim brown

    Jim brown was all american football, basketball and lacrosse if not old enough to remember

    Now best competitor/ winner. Sure . Brady
    Goat of football – yup . Brady

    Especially in current sports . Back in the day , it was easier for teams to have dynasty and dominate a sport / championships – steelers / cowboys/ celtics etc etc

    With current CBA, free agency and salary cap , what he has done is untouchable for team sports. And im not talking about the current sad state of NBA where 2 best buddy / best players go to a big market and get another all star stud or two or three and make the entire starting team an all star team. Easier to do when only 5 games can play at a time. . Usually 3-4 teams have legit shot of winning champ in current NBA. Not the same.

    10 super bowls is filthy. Most winnest player in all 4 sports goes to losest franchise in all 4 sports and wins a super bowl in first year.


  6. Youngbucs Says:

    Buczilla they’re all great Ali could control all variables in his profession though.

  7. gp Says:

    This greatly depends on your definition of “athlete”.
    Physical athleticism and cerebral athleticism are not the same.
    The attributes needed to excel in basketball are different from hockey and that is just as different for boxing, etc etc.

    Is he the best at his position?

    Absolutely. The GOAT

    And there is very little chance that another will come up the ranks and supplant his status as the GOAT. Though he states publicly that “stats” are unimportant as long as you win, “stats” build with those wins.
    And he’s not done with stacking those wins.

  8. QB whisperer Says:

    Buczilla your take is way off base. If Barkley thinks he’s the GOAT of all sports, he’s got my vote. Of course I’m prejudiced due to many factors we’ve all talked about over the past year, but I’m just on the bandwagon and that alone hyperbolizes all the good things that have happened to the Bucs with TB12 at the helm. He won’t let the bucks get complacent and we all know what that could lead to, number 11 Super Bowl, and number eight win.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s very difficult to compare athletes from different sports…….really doesn’t make a lot of sense……
    but, I do think you can somewhat compare athletic accomplishments…..and playing in 10 and winning 7 Superbowls is quite an accomplishments…..perhaps the greatest.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    He said Athlete as in a person who participated in an athletic event. Not most athletic which is comprised of physical abilities.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    For you music enthusiasts…

    If this was Gnarles Barkley…I’d say it was “Crazy”

  12. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Greatest ‘athlete’ of all time is Hershel Walker.

  13. SB~LV Says:

    lol… the “greatest “ is a fool’s game. Even in the same sport trying to compare from different eras.
    I prefer to say among the greatest
    WTF is the shunning of James Wilder ?
    Ira ?

  14. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Silly conversation, but fun. To be fair, Brady is about as athletic as a baseball player. Football is too complex to call a guy with 1 job the best ever of all players. Best at his position, sure.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Perhaps the greatest athlete was OJ Simpson…..he was able to expand the size of his hand so the glove wouldn’t fit.

  16. David Says:

    It all depends on how you define athlete. Obviously there are better athletes than him. He is up there with the all-time great‘s in team sports Gretzky, Jordan, Brady… it used to be Babe Ruth in baseball but there are actually a handful of baseball players. Then you get into individual sports- Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Muhammad Ali, Carl Lewis, Usain Bolt , Flo-Jo, etc… It is impossible to say one over others.
    Greatest player in NFL history, absolutely. He passed Jerry Rice with Super Bowl win #6

  17. SOEbuc Says:

    Montana says he’s the GOAT after our Super Bowl win. He’s the only person that needs to confirm it. People lie to themselves but I don’t give a sh!t about anybody else’s opinion after that. Doesn’t have the time for First Take or State Farm commercials. He’s watching game film. Get here faster July 23.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    It’s not how u define athlete . Athlete and athletic are 2 different things. As an ex athlete Charles didn’t make a distinction between the 2 because Athletes assume people know the difference which apparently most don’t. This may be confusing to some especially if you weren’t an athlete.

  19. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Bo Jackson? The guy played two sports at their highest levels and was successful in each. Not just successful he was really good. Maybe Bruce Jenner? Gold medal in the Decathlon
    The Qb position in the NFL is an Athletic position obviously. But there were guys that could barely run playing in the NFL. Tom Brady greatest athlete? I don’t think so? Greatest QB I would say yes. Anyone remember his Combine 40yd dash? I guess it just depends on your personal definition of “Greatest Athlete”. Greatest Qb yes. Greatest Athlete? No.

  20. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Micheal Vick is probably the most athletic Qb I can think of.

  21. SB Says:

    Buczilla Says:
    July 10th, 2021 at 2:40 pm
    The best football player of all time for sure, but putting him ahead of Jordan, Gretzky, and Ali is tough for me. Maybe if he wins one more super bowl with us, I’ll have no choice.
    I mean I have nothing to say.

  22. Bird Says:


    Thats hilarious!
    Im dying.


    I got a good one too. Barry bonds hat size going 2 sizes bigger late in career
    Completely normal and athletic. He was doing skull deadlifts 😂

  23. SOEbuc Says:

    MJ played baseball lol.

  24. SufferingSince76 Says:

    It’s an apples and oranges comparison. How good is Brady at professional basketball and how good is Jordan at professional football?

  25. Miller5252 Says:

    Gretzky??? Must be some Canadians on the site pushing for their hero. I’m sure they’ve Curling guy up there right under Gretzky. I’m surprised no one has brought Dale Earnhardt or Jeff Gordon.

    Its pretty much impossible to saying best athlete because athlete means you can do multiple athletic things. Brady can’t even run. I do think he’s the best
    In football past or present.

  26. Slugglife Says:

    Jameis is the founder of the 30/30 club.

    Clearly the best accomplishment of any athlete. The debate is over.

  27. Slugglife Says:


    Would you be willing to race Brady in the 40 yard dash? Because a man can’t run a 4.4 doesn’t mean he can’t run and beat you. It just means the guys tasked with tackling him need to be fast.

    Slow your roll bro. He is the GREATEST QB of all time. Did you see the dimes he dropped to Miller against the Raiders and the Packers? Nuff said.

    Have a drink and take the rest of the night off. Respectfully.

  28. QB whisperer Says:

    Tampabaybucfan had the best and funniest take. The rest us basically gave the same old tired and worn takes, but I laughed MAO at TBBF’s.

  29. Destinjohnny Says:

    It’s a short list qb’s theft have won 7 super-bowls
    It’s Rocky Marciano stuff

  30. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Aren’t NASCAR drivers considered to be athletes too?

    Brady IS the greatest QB of all-time and one of the greatest competitors of all time in all of sports along with Jordan and Gretzky.

    Let’s just leave it at that

  31. mg Says:

    Jim Brown would be my choice for greatest athlete. He punished defensive players for a decade.

  32. Howard Cosell Says:

    Turrible. Just turrible.

  33. David Says:


    Yes. Gretzky.
    The great one.
    Put it in perspective. Gretzky has 44% more points than the next closest person in NHL history. That would mean someone would have to have-
    335 more HRs than Bonds
    16,800 points more than Kareem
    34,000 more passing yards than Brees

    Hell, Gretzky has more assists than anyone else had assists and goals combined.

    But like I said, Gretzky, Jordan, Brady, Ali, Phelps etc. I think it’s impossible to say who the greatest is.
    Stick in your lane. Brady is the greatest football player ever.

    As far as pure “athlete”, Bo Jackson was the greatest one I ever saw

  34. 6throundpick Says:

    You’ll know that TB12 was drafted by the Montreal Expos, yeah?

  35. Bird Says:


    Yah. I forgot about that. Good point.

  36. Buczilla Says:

    Lol, damn, I’m getting clobbered by some folks. 😛

  37. geno711 Says:

    Not saying that Ricky Henderson should be in the talk for greatest athlete of all time but just love his one accumulation statistic that no one will ever touch in Baseball.

    Ricky has 1406 stolen bases. Someone in baseball could steal 70 bases a season for 20 years straight and still would end up short of Ricky’s record.

    No one steals 70 bases in a season anymore. Since the year 2000, only three times has a player stolen 70 bases with 78 being the most.

  38. Mike Says:

    I think TB is the best player of a team sport. When you have a potential team but it has been losing for 3 consecutive years, who should you choose a player to get a ring the next year?
    Lebrun and Jordan are closed but they could not even the NBA only need 5 players.

  39. westernbuc Says:

    I don’t know how this is still even an argument. Brady won 7 rings, the last of which he did so in a new conference, new system, in his forties, in one of the most physically brutal sports.

    I have no idea why anyone is talking about athleticism. If you’re just going on physical abilities, it’s gonna be some no-name Olympic track and field athlete. Sorry Bo Jackson, being good at two sports isn’t going to cut it.

    Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps, Wayne Gretzky and Muhammad Ali are the strongest contenders with Brady. Then maybe Tiger. But Brady surpassed them with his 7th super bowl

  40. BigMacAttack Says:

    Simone Biles is pretty amazing. Just sayin

  41. Miller5252 Says:

    Slugglife, I did say he was the best ever in football past and present…not sure if you read that or you were so mad that I said he can’t run you didn’t read past that part. Trying to say someone is the best athlete of all time is just too hard to do. My nascar jab was because I have a good friend who stands behind drivers being the best athletes out there. Brady is the best QB of all time and I would even throw out there beat athlete of all time, but as this article has shown everyone has their own opinion. Oh, and thanks Slugglife for permission to have the night off with a drink

  42. Anonymous Says:

    Most underrated in the goat conversation is novak djokovic. Past 10 years djokovic has won 19 grand slams while nadal and federer have combined for 15. He is 55-22 against both of them in the past 10 years. What many considered to be the2 best tennis players of all time has been manhandled by djokovic in the past decade. nadal and Federer fans constantly boo him and cheer his mistakes and cheer for the other opponent even if its someone else playing djokovic in hopes of thinking it will derail him in catching them in titles. No wonder him and kobe were tight. 2 of the greatest mentalities in the history of sports. Jordan , mayweather, bolt . brady. Its more mental than physical with the great ones. Jordan was winning more championships when he lost some of his athleticism.

  43. Scooter Says:

    Jim Brown could run u over or run away from ya. Always got up slow. Back then if the defense knew u were injured, they’d go after ya.