The NBA legend was leaving Madeo in Beverly Hills on Tuesday when he hit Lakers nation with a cold, hard dose of reality -- LeBron James can't single-handedly save the Lake Show.
"He not gonna win next year," Barkley told our guy ... "Stop it, dude."
Barkley says Lebron's a great player, but they need to get better -- and tells TMZ Sports Magic Johnson needs to continue building out the roster and bringing in top talent before they can contend with the Warriors.
And, here's more Lakers dream-crushing -- Barkley says there's NO WAY IN HELL Kobe Bryant's coming out of retirement to play in the NBA.
But, he isn't ruling out a return to professional basketball ...