Charles Barkley has become well-known for his brutal honesty as an NBA analyst on TNT. The Hall of Famer has shown time and time again that he’s willing to criticize some of the games biggest stars, no matter the cost.
Barkley’s candor makes for some genuine and entertaining television, but he thinks it may be the reason for the end of his friendship with Michael Jordan.
In an appearance on HBO’s “Back on the Record” with Bob Costas, Barkley spoke about his past relationship with the Chicago Bulls great and current Charlotte Hornets owner. He shared that the two aren’t all that close anymore and believes that’s the case because he criticized Jordan too harshly on his ownership stint in Charlotte.
“We’re not,” Barkley told Costas when asked if he and Jordan were still friends, via The Source. “And I take some responsibility for that. I criticized [him]–he was one of my best friends, and I definitely love him and miss him, to be honest with you, but I, Bob, I have to do my job. I said, at the time, and we can debate whether I should have said it, but I was asked a question, and I’m told always be honest at my job. I said, ‘I don’t know if Michael’s ever going to be successful [running the Charlotte Hornets] because I don’t know if he got enough strong people around him.’”
— The Source Magazine (@TheSource) August 15, 2021
Jordan has been known to not take any criticism of him lightly and that’s part of what made him one of the best basketball players of all-time. It’s no surprise that a harsh, although fair, assessment of his leadership in Charlotte would lead to him cutting ties with his former friend.
Although Barkley and Jordan might not have much of a friendship any more, the TNT analyst still thinks that the Bulls legend is the greatest player of all-time. He explained why in the same interview with Costas.
“Jordan…” Barkley said when asked to name who he thought was the NBA’s greatest player of all-time.. “In fairness, I don’t even put LeBron past Kobe, let’s get that out of the way. … LeBron has stacked his teams, let’s be realistic. … The struggle is part of your legacy.”
Although the two NBA greats don’t seem to be on good terms right now, there’s still plenty of time for the two of them to rekindle their friendship. Time will tell if they try to do so.