Charles Barkley e Michael Jordan were rivals in the NBA and for a time even friends off the court. They faced each other in the 1992 Finals, when Barkley was the reigning MVP, and countless other times, but to this day they have no relationship. This was said by Sir Charles, host of the podcast All The Smoke.
Barkley also recounted why this happened; the motivation would lie in some of his televised statements toward executive Jordan, especially when he was managing the Charlotte Bobcats. According to the Suns legend, MJ would surround himself with too many friends and these would prevent him from making the right decisions.
He was my best friend at the time, and I love him and miss him, but I also have to do my job. I don’t think it’s fair for me to have preferences. For example, we all know which guys Skip Bayless likes and which guys he doesn’t like. I, on the other hand, believe that I am impartial. What I said about Michael was that he would never be successful because of the people with whom he surrounded himself. I think he hires too many friends, and your friends never say no to you. He was having a hard time as a GM, leading the team, so I said, “I don’t know if he’ll ever be successful because the people around him will never say no.” As in: no, don’t draftee that player, or we have to give up that player, blah blah blah.
MJ went crazy, he called me on the phone, and the last thing I heard was, “You son of a[bleep]go f**k*****o! I thought you were my friend!”. I told him I had to do my job, we haven’t spoken since then. I think it’s been more or less 10 years.