In an interview with ESPN Radio, Charles admitted that he feels “sadness” that he and Jordan haven’t spoken in years, and the comments come after their longtime NBA rivalry was heavily featured in episodes five and six of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary.
“The guy was like a brother to me for, shoot, 20-something years,” Barkley said on Tuesday. “At least 20-something years. And I do, I feel sadness. But to me he’s still the greatest basketball player ever. I wish him nothing but the best. But, there’s nothing I can do about it, brother.”
“I love Michael, but he just has not done a good job,” Barkley said at the time.
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This is the difference between
Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley pic.twitter.com/fniFoEYYPx
— Adam Lefkoe (@AdamLefkoe) May 4, 2020
“The thing that bothered me the most about that whole thing, I don’t think that I said anything that bad,” Barkley told ESPN Radio of the feud. “I’m pretty sure I said, ‘As much as I love Michael, until he stops hiring them kiss-a—es, and his best friends, he’s never going to be successful as a general manager.’ And I remember pretty much verbatim I said that.”
Barkley said he was shocked that Jordan took his comments the wrong way, because he thought his honesty was why MJ valued their friendship.
“Listen, if you’re famous, and Michael at one point was the most famous person in the world, everybody around you is either on the payroll or letting you buy drinks and dinner and flying around on your private jet,” Barkley said. Very few of your friends are going to be honest with you. But I thought that was one of the reasons we were great friends. Like, ‘I can ask Charles anything and I know he’s going to give me a straight answer.’ But part of my job [as an analyst] is, because I can’t go on TV and say ‘another general manager sucks’ and then just because Michael’s like a brother to me say ‘He’s doing a fantastic job.’ That would be disingenuous.”
He also noted that Phil Jackson, Jordan’s former Chicago Bulls Coach, made similar comments about MJ’s mismanagement as an executive but their relationship was not fractured by it.