Charles Barkley revealed that he and former NBA player and best friend Michael Jordan have not spoken to each other in almost ten years since they fell out. The former friends were part of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team and faced off against each other several times over the years.
One of their most known games was the 1993 NBA Finals. At the time, Barkley was with the Phoenix Suns and the regular season MVP. Their face-off in the finals was a major topic in Jordan and the Bulls’ documentary, “The Last Dance.”
The former friends and NBA players have been on the outs since 2012 when Barkley criticized Jordan in a radio show due to how he operated the Charlotte Hornets franchise.
Read on to learn more about the decade-old beef.
Charles Barkley Hasn’t Spoken To Michael Jordan In Almost A Decade
Since their falling out, Barkley and Jordan have reportedly not spoken to each other. The former NBA star said as much while talking to Tom Brady in an episode of SiriusXM’s “Let’s Go! With Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray” podcast.
During the November 21 interview, he explained that his comments offended the “Space Jam” star. Barkley said, per Us Weekly, “Michael Jordan, losing his friendship was probably the most prominent thing that’s happened to me [because of my bluntness]. But I was being honest about what I thought.”
The NBA star publicly criticized his former friend almost a decade ago concerning his handling of the NBA team, Charlotte Hornets franchise. After his comment at the time, Barkley claimed that Jordan had only yes men around him and needed someone to criticize his actions.
Charles Barkley Said Michael Jordan Needed Better People Around Him
During the podcast with Brady, Barkley said that due to how famous Jordan was, he felt like he needed better people around him and said as much. “I said, ‘Listen, the toughest thing about Michael, he’s got to put better people around him,'” he said.
“Because the toughest thing [about] when you’re famous [is] 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. And I try to surround myself with people [and say] like, ‘Hey, if I’m screwing up, please tell me.'”
Jordan didn’t seem to appreciate Barkley’s comments, and as a result, the former friends stopped talking and have been on the outs for almost ten years. “He was my best friend at the time,” the sports commentator said per Us Weekly. “I love the dude like a brother, and we’re both stubborn, and we haven’t talked.”
Charles Barkley On Speaking His Mind
Further in the interview, Barkley revealed that he had no intention of being a people pleaser despite feeling bad about his ruined relationship with Jordan. He said, “[My former teammate Julius “Dr. J” Erving] was trying to coach me on how to deal with the media.”
Barkley continued, “He said, ‘You have to make a choice. You’re going to be honest, or try to make everybody like you.’… I realized it doesn’t matter what I say. Half the people are going to like it, and half the people are going to hate it.”
The sports commentator added that starting from his third year as part of the NBA till now, he always made sure to give his honest opinion on issues and deal with the consequences after.
Scottie Pippen And Michael Jordan Had A Falling Out
Jordan also had an issue with former NBA star and friend Scottie Pippen last year after the release of his Netflix documentary, “The Last Dance.” The duo played together with The Bulls and were key factors in the six championships the team won in the 1990s.
In November last year, Pippen released his memoir, “Unguarded,” where he put Jordan on blast for glorifying himself in the Netflix documentary while reducing the role and contributions of the rest of his teammates in the wins.
“They glorified Michael Jordan while not giving nearly enough praise to me and my proud teammates,” Pippen wrote. “Michael deserved a large portion of the blame. The producers had granted him editorial control of the final product. The doc couldn’t have been released otherwise. He was the leading man and the director.”