Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan were once close friends, spending extensive time together whether it be on a golf course, in a casino, or elsewhere. However, that relationship publicly deteriorated a decade ago, and Barkley has discussed the desire to make amends with his former confidant on numerous occasions.
That sentiment was again expressed this week when Barkley spoke to Taylor Rooks about the long-term rift, and he expressed the wish to “get past this bullsh*t” and bury the hatchet.
Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan haven’t spoken to each other in 10 years over something Charles said on air.
He expands on what happened and what he would say to him if he had the chance.
“Let’s get past this bullshit.” pic.twitter.com/5ksNPeoaRL
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) November 29, 2022
Within the conversation, Barkley spoke about the friendship effectively ending due to on-air comments about Jordan and his performance as the owner of the then-Charlotte Bobcats. “I’m going to do my job first and foremost, because I can’t criticize other coaches and general managers and give him a pass because he’s my best friend,” Barkley said. “I just can’t do that.”
Barkley also referred to it as “a really unfortunate situation for me and him,” and said he “thought it would blow over” before attributing it to mutual stubbornness. When pressed by Rooks on what he might say if given the opportunity, Barkley ended with the hypothetical sentiment of “Let’s get past this bullsh*t and get back to playing golf and having fun.”
Obviously, any relationship is complex, even before getting into the dynamics with two of the most famous people in the country and public grievances over a period of years. Rooks is also right that it seems quite sad from an outsider’s standpoint, but perhaps things can be mended if the two men can sit down and have a conversation with the benefit of time to heal some wounds.