Barkley and the phone call that severed his relationship with Jordan

12 months ago

Charles Barkley spoke with Taylor Rooks about his fractured relationship with Michael Jordan, the reasons for that falling out and what he would tell his former friend in order to make amends.

The fractured relationship between Barkley and Jordan came about, as Charles recounts, when 10 years ago he criticized Jordan and questioned his ability to succeed as a manager of the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets).

“I said I didn’t think Michael Jordan had enough support around him to be successful. I said it and I had no problem saying it because it was the truth. He took offense and called me out. It wasn’t a pleasant conversation, and we haven’t spoken since,” Barkley explained.

“It’s a really unfortunate situation for him and for me. But I first and foremost do my job. Because I can’t criticize other coaches and managers and turn a blind eye to Jordan because he’s my friend, I just can’t do that.

Barkley acknowledged that he knew after Jordan’s call that they would go a while without speaking to each other, but that the relationship could have headed in a different direction.

“I thought it would happen, to be honest with you,” Barkley said. “And he’s stubborn, and I’m stubborn and that’s it.”

Taylor Rooks asked Barkley what he would say to Jordan, with whom he has crossed paths several times in recent years without speaking, if he were to meet him again.

“I would tell him that what I said was what I believed then. I’m sorry you were offended. Let’s get over this bullshit and get back to playing golf and having fun,” was Barkley’s response.