Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan had a rocky relationship throughout the years. Even though there was a lot of respect and even friendship between them when they were still playing, their relationship took a wrong turn in the last couple of years. Jordan was mad at Charles, who often criticized Jordan as an NBA owner, and his team, the Charlotte Hornets, who haven’t seen the playoffs in a long time.
In a recent interview with David Aldridge on The Athletic, Barkley said he misses Jordan and is no longer as close as before. Barkley also said Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever and that he will always wish him the best no matter what kind of relationship is between them.
“We were great friends forever. 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 …”Charles Barkley, via The Athletic
When asked why he doesn’t do try and bury the hatchet with Jordan, Barkley believes that it is not so easy as it seems. Barkley tried to initiate a conversation with Jordan but to no avail. He didn’t seem interested, primarily because of Barkley’s comments about his management decisions and the way he is running his NBA franchise.
“You know, you sound like some of my friends. That can’t happen because I didn’t do anything wrong. I would love to be friends with Michael ’cause, like I say, he was great to me for 20-some years, and I love him like a brother. He was like a brother to me. But our last conversation, he was not very happy with some things I was saying about him on television. … My criticisms, No. 1, were fair.”Charles Barkley, via The Athletic
Jordan was often described as a hard person to get along with, and countless stories prove it. On the other hand, Barkley is good-hearted but often speaks before he thinks, which leads to situations like these where Barkley insults people even though he probably doesn’t mean to do it. Nevertheless, hopefully, we’ll be able to see these two basketball legends break bread and normalize their mutual relationship.