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#pounditMonday, March 20, 2023

Charles Barkley shares the last time he talked to Michael Jordan

Charles Barkley on the sideline

May 20, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Former NBA player and current TNT television personality Charles Barkley prior to game one of the Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs between the Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan once had a very close bond, but that changed after Barkley publicly criticized Jordan’s ownership of the then-Charlotte Bobcats. Even now, Barkley says he and Jordan are not on speaking terms.

In an appearance on Tom Brady’s “Let’s Go!” podcast, Barkley revealed he has not spoken to Jordan in ten years, because “we’re both stubborn” and are not willing to reach out.

“I think probably, me and Michael [Jordan] were best friends, that’s probably the most prominent thing,” Barkley said, via Jenna Lemoncelli of the New York Post. “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.

“I try to surround myself with people like, ‘hey, if I’m screwing up, please tell me.’ 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.”

Barkley certainly does not feel bad about his remarks. In fact, he has previously said he is surprised at Jordan’s reaction because in his mind, what he said was fairly tame.

At this point, neither Barkley nor Jordan is probably going to end the estrangement. If it has not happened after ten years, it probably isn’t going to.


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