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Charles Barkley Explains Why He and Michael Jordan Are No Longer Friends

Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley (34) laughs a
Charles Barkley: "The thing that bothered me the most about that whole thing, I don't think that I said anything that bad. I'm pretty sure I said, 'As much as I love Michael, until he stops hiring them kiss-asses, and his best friends, he's never going to be successful as a general manager.' And I remember pretty much verbatim I said that. And the thing that really pissed me off about it later is Phil Jackson said the exact same thing."

Former NBA great Charles Barkley went on the ‘Waddle and Silvy Show’ on ESPN 1000 in Chicago on Tuesday to discuss why he and Michael Jordan, at one time ‘best friends’, are no longer on speaking terms.

Barkley says that Jordan has held a severe grudge towards Barkley ever since the outspoken TNT basketball analyst made critical comments towards Jordan’s failed career as an NBA owner with the Charlotte Hornets.

Although Jordan is considered the greatest player in league history, his legacy as an NBA executive is often greatly derided, as his Hornets and formerly named Bobcats, have made the playoffs just three times since Jordan become the controlling owner in 2010, and have never advanced past the first round.

Barkley said he and Jordan, considered arguably the two best players of their generation, were like ‘brothers’ during their careers that spanned the 80’s and 90’s.

Barkley and Jordan's alienated friendship has come into the limelight this week with ESPN's 'The Last Dance' documentary covering the 1993 NBA Finals between Jordan's Bulls and Barkley's Suns in episode 6.

"The guy was like a brother to me for, shoot, 20-something years. At least 20-something years. And I do, I feel sadness. But to me he's still the greatest basketball player ever. I wish him nothing but the best. But, there's nothing I can do about it, brother."

Barkley went on to expound on their beef and fully detail why Jordan has failed so badly as an NBA executive. Barkley says Jordan has been taking advice from the wrong people for years, and goes on to say that Jordan needs to understand that any criticism he may have dealt out towards MJ is simply Barkley doing his job as a popular TV personality paid to make his opinions on basketball related topics.

"Listen, if you're famous, and Michael at one point was the most famous person in the world, everybody around you is either on the payroll or letting you buy drinks and dinner and flying around on your private jet. Very few of your friends are going to be honest with you. And that's very hard for any celebrity, but especially somebody of his stature. But I thought that was one of the reasons we were great friends. Like, 'I can ask Charles anything and I know he's going to give me a straight answer.' But part of my job [as an analyst] is, because I can't go on TV and say 'Another general manager sucks' and then just because Michael's like a brother to me say 'He's doing a fantastic job.' That would be disingenuous."