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On ‘The Great Debate,’ Charles Barkley Redefines the NBA GOAT

The Great Debate with Charles Barkley, a feature-length documentary on TNT, premieres Wednesday, May 18 to decide the ultimate list of the greatest NBA players of all time.

Everybody loves a spirited debate. We’re obsessed with who or what is the GOAT. Or the worst. Or the most underrated. We’re so obsessed with the Michael JordanLeBron James question that we go crazy over who owns the superior tequila brand. This week at Boardroom, we couldn’t wait to discuss which Kendrick Lamar album reigns supreme before his latest offering drops. One food delivery app even based an entire marketing campaign on “the GOOAT,” the greatest order of all time, a glorious but utterly manufactured debate.

(And if you watch ESPN or Fox Sports 1 during weekday mornings, you know all about manufactured debates.)

Next week, TNT becomes the latest to jump into the debate business. Welcome to The Great Debate with Charles Barkley, a feature documentary premiering May 18 at 6:30 p.m. ET in which Sir Charles picks the greatest NBA players decade by decade over the course of the league’s first 75 seasons. The film includes stories from the Hall of Famer about the players who inspired him, and more broadly, it seeks to redefine the very concept of greatness.

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“I am so proud of this film,” Barkley said. “We’ve taken a very different approach by expanding the conversation about the GOAT to include the massive impact my top choices have made on American culture, civil rights, the business world, and even our identity as a country. And it’s really entertaining, too.”

If you know anything about the Chuckster, you’re fully aware that the man doesn’t hold back an opinion when he’s got one up his sleeve. Back in November, he made that clearer than clear on an episode of Boardroom’s “The ETCs” with Kevin Durant and Eddie Gonzalez.

On The Great Debate, Sir Charles’ ultimate pick will consider in both on-court and off-the-court accolades and accomplishments. In conjunction with the longtime Inside The NBA star, and the Hall of Fame legend’s Round Mound Media production company, the film centers around six profiles centered around the greatest player from each decade. Barkley won’t go at it alone though, weaving in a roundtable panel starring iconic director Spike Lee, longtime basketball journalist Jackie MacMullan, and former WNBA star, broadcaster and owner Renee Montgomery.

The Great Debate is directed by Emmy-award winner Scott Boggins, with Barkley’s longtime agent and producing partner Marc Perman of Round Mound Media producing along with Marina Grasic and Jai Khanna of Oakhurst Entertainment, Randy Becker of Level 4 Films, Boggins and Craig Jenest of Five Films, and Robert E. Morgan of Talaria Media.