The world of sports might look like it is all fun and games, but in reality, it is a playground where relationships are made and broken every day. There is cutthroat competition between the teams and an uncertain future. Friendships among players are often broken turning them bitter and angry.
When friendships in the world of basketball are mentioned, one of the most prominent friendships which comes to mind is that of Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan. Once great friends, Charles Barkley and Michael Jordon don’t even talk to each other anymore now.
Charles Barkley once explained on why his friendship with Michael Jordan ended
Charles Barkley is a brutally honest guy. He is not one of those people who will talk sweetly one instance and then go backbiting the next. Whatever he feels he will say it out loud. Although many people like him for that reason, there are some who can’t handle the constructive criticism. That was what happened in the case of NBA great Michael Jordan.
Jordan and Barkley were the best of friends. Both shared a love for basketball and Golf. Both were selected in the 1984 NBA draft, just two picks apart. Both had a genuine love and respect for each other.
Despite having intense battles on the court, the two of them were very close friends off the court who often hung out with each other and enjoyed each other’s company. Although Jordan’s Bulls bested Barkley’s Sixers many times in the 1990 and 1991 playoffs, they never let the competition affect their friendship.
Even during the 1993 NBA finals in which Jordan’s bulls destroyed Barkley’s Suns, both often went to have dinner together in between games, or at least that was what was rumored to be going on. It was stuff like this that made Jeff van Gundy believe that MJ had an ulterior motive.
Michael Jordan appreciated Barkley’s honesty, but it is ironic that it was Barkley’s honesty that broke their friendship. On 2012 Barkley criticized Jordan’s management of the then-Charlotte Bobcats. He said that the people Jordan had hired, were not disagreeing with him just because they wanted Jordan to pick up their cheques and fly around in his private jet. He went on to say that MJ had hired people who would not disagree with him and hence had not done a good job. These statements marked the end of their friendship as Jordan stopped talking to Barkley all together ever since.
Charles Barkley once blasted NBA refs for not giving blatant foul against Michael Jordan
Despite being great friends once, Jordan and Barkley had some of the fiercest on court battles. They trash talked to each other and shoved each other regularly. Charles Barkley often complained about the referees who would give Jordan a foul easily.
Such an incident took place during the Chicago Bulls’ second three-peat (1996-1998) when Barkley was playing for the Houston Rockets. He roasted the referees for not calling a foul against Jordan.
“This isn’t fair. That is a foul. I know he is Michael Jordan. Every time he raises he voice to you all, you all give him calls”, Barkley told the referees. “Shut up, you would have done nothing,” Jordan told him.
Although their off-court feud eventually ended up severing their friendship, both MJ and Charles Barkley have cemented their legacy in the history of the sport.
Do you think Barkley and Jordan’s beef will ever be resolved? Let us know in the comments below.