The latest episode of the Steam Room podcast featuring Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson delivered a great exchange between Barkley and one of his former teammates Rick Mahorn. If you are an older Pistons or Sixers fan, you remember him as one of those hardnosed old-school centers that often served in the enforcer’s role, which is pretty much extinct in today’s NBA.
Before becoming Barkley’s teammate with the Sixers, Mahorn was a member of the Bad Boys from Detroit that beat Michael Jordan several times in a row in the playoffs. The primary receipt for that success was putting Jordan on the ground as many times needed, and that strategy initially worked quite well for the Pistons. After joining the Sixers, Mahorn told Barkley that he needs to foul him hard every time Jordan drives to the basket. Apparently, Mahorn was always frustrated with Barkley because he was too soft on Jordan and wasn’t physical enough when he needed to be.
Mahorn and Barkley got into an argument on the show on fouling Michael, and it was a hilarious exchange between the two, especially when Mahorn said Barkley was soft.
“I want a public apology for you being on your radio saying I was too soft to hit Michael Jordan.”
Rick Mahorn “Oh you was too soft. I don’t wanna hear that shit Charlie.
Barkley “When we were about to play the Bulls. He says we got to hammer Michael. When he comes down the lane, knock the shit out of him. I’m like Rick I’m the star of the team. I can’t be getting in foul trouble.”
Mahorn “See I don’t wanna hear that shit. All I asked you to do was be physical with Michael. Once I knocked the shit out of him, you know they weren’t going to call the foul on you after I hit him, come on, Charles. What are we talking about? Oh, intentional foul? I don’t wanna hear that. I ain’t apologizing for shit!Charles Barkley & Rick Mahorn, via Steam Room
It’s great to hear this type of exchange between former teammates who are still friends and openly discuss these exciting anecdotes. It’s also proof that Jordan could only be stopped if someone fouled him hard enough. If that didn’t happen, you can be sure he would make his defender pay by scoring the basket in multiple ways. Unfortunately, Barkley had to learn that the hard way as a member of the Phoenix Suns when he faced off against Jordan in the finals, who averaged over 40 points per game. Perhaps Barkley should’ve used the advice Mahorn shared with him right then and there because it’s one of the rare things you could do to stop Jordan if all else fails.