Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley were two of the best players in NBA history, and their rivalry was always fierce. They are also fierce competitors and are always at each other’s throats. Charles Barkley also complained to the referees, accusing them of fouling Jordan too easily, and Jordan told him there was nothing he could do to stop him.
Such an incident occurred during the Chicago Bulls’ second three-peat (1996-1998), when Barkley was playing for the Houston Rockets. He mocked the referee for not fouling Jordan.
“It’s not fair. It’s a foul. I know he’s Michael Jordan. Every time he raises his voice to all of you, you’re going to call him,” Barkley told the referees.
“Shut up, you can’t do anything,” Jordan told him.
The two legends were best friends at the time, despite their on-field bickering and trash-talking. They remained friends for several years, but that relationship ended a decade ago after Charles Barkley made some public comments about Jordan’s tenure as owner of the Charlotte Hornets.
The two have not spoken since and have only seen each other at a few public NBA events.
Charles Barkley explains why his friendship with Michael Jordan ended
Charles Barkley has spoken multiple times about his friendship with Michael Jordan and why it ended, noting that the all-time great didn’t like what Barkley said about him.
Buckley told 60 Minutes’ Jon Wertheim:
“Michael didn’t agree with some of the things I said, and he severed the friendship. From what I’ve said, I don’t think there were enough people around him who would tell him, ‘No.'” He was really angry, and we hadn’t spoken yet.
“But, Jon, I really, I’m going to do my job. Because, if I criticize the same people and not criticize my best friend, I have zero credibility.”
Charles Barkley elaborated on his views in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traner:
“I lost my best friend for criticizing him. People could always say to me, ‘Charles, you may not like him, but he’ll be fair,’ because of Michael’s situation. I always said, ‘Wait a minute , “I criticize other general managers. Just because he’s my best friend, it wouldn’t be fair if I had a double standard. ”
“Like I said, Michael got mad at some of the things I said and we haven’t spoken and now I have to defend him twice a year… I’m like, ‘Yo, man, Michael did a great job, Charles did a great job good.’
I just wish him the best. But, as suspected, we’re not like Prince Harry and Prince William. We don’t shoot through backdoor channels all the time, and Michael does a great job and I do a great job. “
Jordan is a six-time champion and Finals MVP, while Barkley never won an NBA championship despite being the NBA MVP in 1993. The two were part of a U.S. team that dominated the 1992 Olympics and won the gold medal, earning it the nickname the “Dream Team.”