Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan were close friends during their playing days. However, their post-NBA careers have led to a strained relationship between the two.
During a recent interview on ESPN Radio, Barkley opened up about the fractured relationship between the two which he feels “sadness” about. Both men were members of the gold medal-winning team at the 1992 Olympics.
“The guy was like a brother to me for, shoot, 20-something years,” Barkley said during an interview with ESPN 1000 in Chicago. “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.”
The relationship between the two went south when Barkley was critical of Jordan’s job as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets.
“I think the biggest problem has been I don’t know if he has hired enough people around him who he will listen to,” Barkley said at the time. “I love Michael, but he just has not done a good job.”
While the two men are not as close as they once were, Barkley is open to the idea of repairing their relationship but he put the ball in Jordan’s court.
“He got my number,” Barkley said. “He can call me.”
Perhaps the added focus on Jordan and the Chicago Bulls thanks to ESPN’s The Last Dance documentary can help bring the two men back together.