Famously unapologetic NBA analyst Charles Barkley wants his friendship back with Michael Jordan, whom he hasn’t talked to in 10 years. Barkley talked with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks about what broke up the former best friends and what he would like to happen in the future.
Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan Decade Long Beef
“It’s a really unfortunate situation for me and him,” Barkley said. “But I’m going to do my job, first and foremost. Because I can’t criticize other coaches and general managers, and give him a pass because he’s my best friend. I just can’t do that.
“What I said was, ‘Michael’s got to surround himself with better people. And I worry about him being successful.'”
Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan haven’t spoken to each other in 10 years over something Charles said on air.
He expands on what happened and what he would say to him if he had the chance.
“Let’s get past this bullshit.” pic.twitter.com/5ksNPeoaRL
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) November 29, 2022
Rooks reminded Barkley of his interview on Tom Brady’s SiriusXM podcast “Let’s Go!” with Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray, where he revealed that he and Jordan haven’t spoken in almost ten years. The revelation came when Tom Brady asked if there were any consequences for giving his opinion as a basketball analyst and overall television personality throughout the years.
“We haven’t spoken in almost ten years, and he was my best friend at the time.”
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) November 27, 2022
Why Did Charles Barkley And Michael Jordan Stop Being Friends?
“I think probably, me and Michael [Jordan] were best friends, that’s probably the most prominent thing,” he said to Brady. “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 going to be honest with you.
“I try to surround myself with people like, ‘Hey, if I’m screwing up, please tell me,'” Barkley continued. “And Michael got offended about something I said about him. And we haven’t spoken in probably almost 10 years. And he was my best friend at the time. And I love the dude like a brother and we’re both stubborn and we haven’t talked.”
In a 2012 radio interview on ESPN 1000 AM’s “The Waddle & Silvy Show,” Barkley said that he believed Jordan “has not done a good job” as an NBA executive. Jordan has been the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets since 2010, only two years into his tenure with the then-Charlotte Bobcats at the time of Barkley’s comments. Barkley thought those surrounding his friend at that time were the wrong people. Ten years later and Barkley and Jordan haven’t even spoken.
Charles Barkley Wants To Make Up With Michael Jordan
“I had no problem saying it, and it was the truth,” Barkley continued to Rooks. “And he took offense and he called me and it wasn’t a pleasant conversation and we haven’t spoken since then. I thought it would blow over, to be honest with you. And he’s stubborn, and I’m stubborn, and that’s it.”
Barkley wants to move away from the impasse with Jordan and make amends. After all, he said the two have been in the same room numerous times through the years, but they never interacted. Since Jordan has not addressed the issue publicly or responded to Barkley’s unofficial overture through the media, it is impossible to know if he is willing to move past the perceived slight. Still, “Chuck” already knows what he would say to his lost friend.
“I probably would say, ‘Hey, you know, what I said, I believed. I’m sorry you took offense to it, and let’s get past this bulls**t and go back to playing golf and having fun.'”