In a recent interview with the Waddle and Silvy show on ESPN, #CharlesBarkley spoke on his “rift” with old friend Michael Jordan.
After having a brotherhood for many years, Barkley and Jordan went their separate ways following remarks that Barkley made about Jordan.
Although he admits he’s still “really, really sad” with the way their friendship ended, Barkley doesn’t see the two ever reconciling.
“The guy was like a brother to me for, shoot, 20-something years,” Barkley said regarding Jordan. “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.”
When asked in Jordan’s The Last Dance documentary, if they would ever mend their broken friendship, Barkley responded, “Oh, he got my number. He can call me.”
But Barkley feels he never said anything wrong and that Jordan took his words out of context.
“The thing that bothered me the most about that whole thing, I don’t think that I said anything that bad,” Barkley continued. “I’m pretty sure I said, ‘As much as I love Michael until he stops hiring them kiss-asses, and his best friends, he’s never going to be successful as a general manager.’ And I remember pretty much verbatim I said that. And the thing that really pissed me off about it later is Phil Jackson said the exact same thing.”
Barkley added that as a celebrity on Jordan’s level, everyone around isn’t telling you what you really need to hear, and as a Television analysis, he said he couldn’t go on national television and not say how he felt just because they were close.
“But I thought that was one of the reasons we were great friends,” he said. “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.”
Barkley used #JoelEmbiid of the Philadelphia 76ers as an example saying Embiid dislikes him for comments he made about him as well, but it would be a disservice to lie about how he feels.
“Joel Embiid hates me because I call him lazy. Which, No. 1, I’m like, ‘Dude, you got to get in shape to play basketball.’ They don’t make him practice. It’s like, well, he’s got bad legs. That’s not how you get your legs better. You work out and get your legs better. Get him in the pool or something like that. But he’s a great kid, but I’m like, ‘Yo, man. You got to get in shape to play basketball.’ So I’m going to do my job no matter what,” Barkley said.