Charles Barkley opened up earlier this week on his relationship with Michael Jordan and revealed the two have not spoken in about 10 years.
Barkley appeared on Monday’s episode of the “Let’s Go!” podcast and talked to Tom Brady and Jim Gray about his broadcasting career and revealed a critical remark about the Chicago Bulls legend led to the severed relationship between the Basketball Hall of Famers.
Barkley said when he first entered the media landscape, he wanted everyone to like him. He said one of the best pieces of advice he got came from Julius Erving, who told him that Barkley had to make a choice – either be honest in what you say or try to get everyone to like you. Barkley said he chose the latter and his broadcasting career has skyrocketed ever since.
Brady asked whether there had been any ramifications for that.
“I think probably, me and Michael [Jordan] were best friends, that’s probably the most prominent thing,” Barkley said. “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. And 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 referred to remarks he made in 2012 when he said Jordan had not done a great job as an NBA executive, pointing to his time with the Washington Wizards and later the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets.
Jordan is not exactly known for burying hatchets.
His beefs with Scottie Pippen and Isiah Thomas have reignited over the last two years since “The Last Dance” documentary was released in 2020.