Charles Barkley: Bobcats criticism undermined friendship with Michael Jordan


Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley were once the closest of friends.

They travelled to Japan together. They played poker together. They filmed Space Jam together.

But that friendship fell apart

Barkley believed it happened because he publicly criticized Jordan’s ownership of the Bobcats (now Hornets), and he recently expanded on that.

Barkley, in an interview with Graham Bensinger:

I think that Michael was upset by some of the things I said about the Bobcats – which, number one, they were true. I told you earlier, I’m going to be honest, and I’m going to be fair.

The Bobcats – first of all, he’s doing a much better job. But a couple years ago, I want to say three years ago, when they were vying for the worst record in NBA history, Michael had not done a good job. He took it personally.

I’m taking Barkley’s side here, and I fully agree with the key points he made in the interview:

1. Barkley, to do his job well, must be honest about his opinion on Jordan as owner. He can’t treat his friends differently than others and maintain his credibility.

2. Jordan was a bad owner.

3. Jordan is a much-improved owner.

4. There’s no good reason Barkley and Jordan can’t patch things up.