Charles Barkley says his relationship with Michael Jordan broke down after he criticized the Bulls legend for surrounding himself with 'yes men'
Charles Barkleysays his friendship with Michael Jordanwas irreparably damaged after he criticized his management style as the owner of the Charlotte Hornets.
- "I would love to be friends with Michael," Barkley said while appearing as a guest on The Athletic's "Hoops Adjacent" podcast, "but our last conversation he was not very happy with some things that I had said about him on television."
- Barkley had said that Jordan had surrounded himself with "yes men" while managing the Hornets, a critique he still deems fair.
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Basketball fans are getting a new perspective on the legacy of Michael Jordan thanks to ESPN's documentary series "
Just two episodes in, the series brought to light some amazing stories about Jordan and seems to be encouraging other stars to share more about the Bulls legend.
While appearing as a guest on The Athletic's "Hoops Adjacent" podcast, former
"We were great friends forever," Barkley said. "I miss Michael. I love Michael. I wish him nothing but the best. He's the greatest basketball player ever. But obviously, he didn't take kindly to some things I said about his management skills, and that's unfortunate. But I gotta do my job."
Barkley explained that Jordan took issue with his criticisms of Jordan's management style as the owner of the Charlotte Hornets.
"I thought the people he hired around him were too many 'yes men,' that was actually my statement," Barkley said. "I thought the people around him. They wanted the private jets. They wanted the steak dinner. They were always going to be yes men. I wish the guy nothing but the best, but I think I was in the right."
Asked if he believed their relationship could be repaired, Barkley wasn't exactly optimistic. While he says he still loves Jordan, he also stands by his criticism.
"That can't happen, because I didn't do anything wrong," Barkley said. "I would love to be friends with Michael. He was great to me for 20-some years. I love him like a brother. He's like a brother to me. But our last conversation he was not very happy with some things that I had said about him on television. Which, my criticism was fair."
While "The Last Dance" gives its audience an inside look at the intensity Jordan operated with during his final season in Chicago, stories like Barkley's show that intensity didn't let up once he stopped playing.
You can listen to Barkley's entire appearance on "Hoops Adjacent" here.
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