In my mind, I’ve always thought of Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley being great friends like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were. Their love for the game of the basketball brought them together and their initial confrontations made them enemies. Yet, the repeated competitions and interactions made for mutual respect and admiration for one another. Magic and Bird’s rivalry and friendship has netted books and documentaries about them, while Jordan and Barkley’s legendary bond has only been spoken about like an urban legend.
When playing basketball on the court ended for Jordan and Barkley, they diverged in different directions. MJ the owner, Chuck the analyst. Many times, Charles would be asked his thoughts about MJ’s performance and Barkley would do the thing he’s the best at, he’d tell his unabashed view of his perceived truth. That “truth” is something MJ’s struggled to deal with, and over the last few years it seems that their relationship has hit the skids. A couple of things here:
- Michael Jordan really has largely done a shitty job as a general manager and owner. This is no secret.
- I never realized how many people took what Charles Barkley said seriously until Sir Charles became a go-to guys for all things black culture related. This is absurd to me. I’ve always viewed Barkley as the crazy Uncle who says wild things all the time while giving away nuggets of truth sometimes.
- I envision MJ sitting in his palatial condo, smoking a cigar with his ethnically ambiguous wife while sipping some of the finest cognac known to man, while watching Inside The NBA. When Charles comes on the television and says something negative MJ’s Charlotte Hornets, I just assume Jordan points at his rings that he always wears while staring angrily at said wife. That’s just me.
As first seen on BroBible, Barkley sat down with Seth Davis on appropriately named The Seth Davis Show to discuss amongst other things, their falling out. I can’t see Chuck and MJ being cold to each other forever, but then again Jordan is one of the greatest grudge-holders of all-time. Let’s hope they get friendly again.
Related: The Day An 18-Year Old Dirk Nowitzki Gave Scottie Pippen 52 Points, As Told By Charles Barkley
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”