Larry Johnson Weighs In On The Best Power Forward Of All-Time Debate

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Larry Johnson Weighs In On The Best Power Forward Of All-Time Debate


Considering the obvious choice for the top spot, the debate about the best power forward of all-time isn’t as intense as other debates circling around the NBA. That said, it’s still an interesting subject, and one person that knows a thing or two about it is former NBA power forward Larry Johnson.

Johnson, known for his stint with the Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks, witnessed a lot of talented power forwards in his NBA career. He went toe-to-toe with the best of them, so there’s no arguing that the former Hornets star is one person uniquely qualified to weigh in on the conversation.  

Johnson recently joined OpenCourt-Basketball’s “Sidelines” podcast with Len Werle to talk about a variety of NBA-related questions. When asked about his best power forward of all-time, Johnson gave quite an alluring response.


 “If we go by the numbers as far as power forward, Karl Malone got these great numbers. Karl Malone didn’t even win an NBA championship, but he has these great numbers. So, you can’t deny Karl’s numbers, and I’ve played against Karl… He’s definitely up there.”

“If we go by talent, skill-wise basketball skills, Charles Barkley had all the skills in the world,” Johnson said.

“I’ve played against this guy my whole career, his name was Derrick Coleman. Talent-wise, Derrick Coleman was unbelievable. He was left-handed, he was 6’10, can dribble, pass, shoot, post-up, do anything in the basketball game.”

“I tried to guard Kevin McHale in my second year in the NBA, third year in the NBA… I couldn’t guard no Kevin McHale. These are the guys that really taught me a lot. If you’re talking about greatest power forwards to me, I gotta mention Karl, I gotta mention Charles Barkley and I gotta mention Derrick Coleman,” Johnson said.


But while Johnson made an interesting differentiation about his choices for the best PF of all-time, the two-time Hornets All-Star specifically picked San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan over the likes of Malone, Barkley and Coleman at the power forward position when talking about his all-time starting five.


 “At power forward, after naming those power forwards… On my starting five, at my power forward, I want Tim Duncan, I want Tim Duncan.”


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