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Barkley: LeBron may pass up Jordan
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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 9 p.m. MDT. 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.

Rockets rookie negotiating travel

Houston Rockets first-round draft pick Royce White is a no-show at training camp at McAllen, Texas, and said he and the team are working on a plan to address his fear of flying.

The 6-foot-8 White was the 16th overall pick after one season at Iowa State. White suffers from anxiety and fear of flying. He says on Twitter that he's working with the team on an "innovative plan" to balance treatment with the NBA schedule.

"Anxiety isn't keeping me from camp," White wrote, "taking a Proactive approach to my mental illness instead of reactive is.#StayingAheadOfMyDisorder."

White said he has an agreement with the team to take a bus to select games. KRIV-TV reported that the agreement is pending league approval.

Grizzlies add more part-owners

NFL quarterback Peyton Manning is supporting wife Ashley's move to join the group of minority owners being assembled by prospective owner Robert J. Pera, and a person familiar with the deal says former NBA player Penny Hardaway also will be part of the group.

Manning and Hardaway join a minority group that includes singer and actor Justin Timberlake and a couple of Memphis businessmen, the person told The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because Pera's purchase of the Grizzlies is pending approval by the NBA.

Pera, owner of a California tech company, agreed to buy the Grizzlies from Michael Heisley in June for $350 million. The NBA is expected to approve the sale this month.

Since agreeing to buy the Grizzlies, Pera has been busy lining up his own group of minority owners including AutoZone founder J.R. "Pit" Hyde and businessman Staley Cates who were minority owners with Heisley. Pera also has worked to add plenty of local star power to the group as well.

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