Throughout and after their NBA careers, Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley were great friends. When Barkley played for the Houston Rockets, a difficult playoff loss resulted in MJ picking him up in a private plane to go golfing mere hours later. And throughout the years, including when they appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show together, the two engaged in some amicable banter.
However, it is now widely known that the friendship has ended. Michael Jordan would never again be amicable with Barkley, according to Charles Oakley. And the circumstance is obviously tragic given that both are such well-known and still-loved members of the NBA community.
In 2012, Barkley acknowledged that whatever he had said had caused the rupture, and now he has clarified the circumstances further.
Charles Barkley on Michael Jordan
For more than 20 years, Barkley has served as an NBA analyst and commentator; his unfiltered viewpoints and frank analysis have made him a fan favorite. Chuck has seen great success as a result; he recently agreed to a rewarding new deal. But in an interview with Tom Brady for a podcast, Barkley claimed that the breakup of his friendship with MJ was the worst result of his media career.
“I think probably, me and Michael were best friends, that’s probably the most prominent thing. Michael Jordan, losing his friendship was probably the most prominent thing that’s happened to me. But I was being honest about what I thought. I said, ‘Listen, the toughest thing about Michael, he’s got to put better people around him.’ Because the toughest thing, when you’re famous, 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,” he said.
It’s understandable why things didn’t work out well after Barkley’s remarks because Michael Jordan doesn’t take criticism well. But given that both are regarded as the best in the sport, it’s also safe to argue that this is one of the sadder stories in the NBA world. The majority of game fans would love to see a reconciliation even though there is nothing to suggest that it might be in the works.