Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan once were great friends.
But that was then, and this is now.
Barkley revealed Tuesday during his appearance on ESPN’s “The Dan Le Batard Show” that his relationship with Jordan has broken down. Jordan and Barkley briefly crossed paths in September at the Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but Barkley says their encounter, which Kenny Smith captured on Instagram, was just that.
“I love Michael,” Barkley says. “I miss Michael’s friendship. He was a great friend to me for a long period of time, and I love him and I miss him like a brother. But we just happened to be at the same place. We have not (become friends again).
“I would love to mend that relationship, but we just happened to be at the same place and we took a picture together. It was a public forum. I wish Michael nothing but the best. I love him like a brother, but we are not back to where we used to be.”
Barkley said the rift between Jordan and him stems from his 2012 comments on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” about how MJ was running the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets).
“I think that some people, when you’re their friend, they expect you to have their back, no matter what,” Barkley told Le Batard. “And part of my job sucks sometimes when I have to criticize people I like or a friend. And what I said about Michael, which was that he had to do a better job of putting people around him because I thought he had too many people around him that just did what he said to do, and he took it personal.
“He got really angry … but hey man, I feel like I have to do my job. I have told people, I really miss the guy. He was like a brother to me for 30 years. But he got upset at me and we haven’t spoken. That was the first time I had seen or spoken to him in years.”
Perhaps Jordan could use a reminder about keeping business and personal feelings seperate, as was the case during their Hall of Fame playing careers.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images