Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan are not friends anymore, and Barkley still regrets it. TNT NBA Analyst has always been outspoken, but he wishes that being too honest hadn’t cost him his friendship with MJ.
The reason the Chicago Bulls legend and Barkley had a falling out and aren’t on speaking terms is unclear. Jordan is a private person; he has never addressed what happened. Barkley, however, has discussed the issue in many interviews and podcasts over the years.
Barkley recently appeared on the “Let’s Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray” podcast and discussed the end of his friendship with Jordan.
Alex Caruso shares his surprising all-time Chicago Bulls' starting 5
A couple of AC’s picks may surprise you.
Patrick Williams proud of turnaround after a sluggish start to the season
Things have been looking up for Patrick Williams.
“Michael Jordan, losing his friendship was probably the most prominent thing that’s happened to me. But I was being honest about what I thought. I said, ’Listen, the toughest thing about Michael, he’s got to put better people around him.’ Because the toughest thing, when you’re famous, they’re on your private jet, you’re buying all the drinks, you’re buying all the dinners. Very few people are gonna be honest with you," Barkley said.
"I try to surround myself with people like, hey, if I’m screwing up, please tell me.And Michael got offended about something I said about him. And we haven’t spoken in probably almost 10 years. And he was my best friend at the time. And I love the dude like a brother and we’re both stubborn and we haven’t talked,” the Hall of Famer added.
Why Barkley and Jordan’s friendship ended
Barkley and Jordan entered the league in the 1984 NBA Draft and had epic battles over the years, including unforgettable games in the 1993 NBA Finals. The two Hall of Famers respected each other and became friends off the court.
It is believed that Barkley’s criticism of Jordan’s decision-making as the Charlotte Hornets owner caused the rift.
“I don’t know if Michael’s ever going to be successful as a team owner for the Hornets,” Barkley said on “Back On the Record with Bob Costas.”
On February 20, Jordan ignored Barkley and walked past him at the NBA 75 ceremony. Former Bulls forward Charles Oakley, one of Jordan’s friends, defended the six-time NBA champion’s actions in an interview.
“Barkley, he can never get back in (Jordan's inner circle). No matter what he do. He do jumping jack, push-ups, he can't get back in the family, he out,” Oakley said.