Charles Barkley reveals why Michael Jordan still has beef with him
It is now Charles Barkley’s turn to share his own anecdote about the legendary Michael Jordan. ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary, which highlights Jordan’s final NBA season with the Chicago Bulls, is set to be released on Sunday, and we certainly don’t mind hearing or reading about all sorts of MJ stories.
For his part, Barkley opened up about why he and Jordan still have beef to this very day. As it turns out, their once-close friendship was damaged when Barkley criticized Jordan for the latter’s performance as an NBA executive:
“We were great friends forever,” Barkley said of Jordan on the Hoops, Adjacent podcast, via David Aldridge of The Athletic. “I miss Michael. I love Michael. I wish him nothing but the best. He’s the greatest basketball player ever. But obviously he didn’t take kindly to some things I said about his management skills. And that’s unfortunate. That’s unfortunate. But I’ve got to do my job …”
The current NBA on TNT analyst went on to expound on his sentiments, and as it turns out, he remembers exactly what he said that made Jordan so upset:
“Don’t you have friends who you’re not sure how they’re gonna react when you’re honest with them,” Barkley asked. “Especially somebody on his level. And like I say, hey, I love the dude. He’s the best I’ve ever seen. It’s unfortunate the way things went down. But I’m going to always try to do my job. And actually, my criticism was about the people around him. … I thought the people he hired around him were too many yes men. That was actually my statement, to be honest. I thought the people around him, they wanted the private jet. They wanted the steak dinner. They were always going to be yes men.”
Barkley and Jordan became close during the 1984 Olympic trials and played together on the Dream Team in 1992. They also had plenty of battles throughout their NBA careers, including in the 1993 NBA Finals. While they built a friendship as players, Chuck is never hesitant to be critical as an analyst, and he wasn’t going to pull any punches when talking about Jordan’s poor track record as an executive.
This is all obviously Barkley’s side of the story, and perhaps Jordan might have another perspective on the same. Whatever the case may be, we just hope that these two NBA legends are able to patch things up sooner rather than later.