NBA legend Charles Barkley has spoken out over the decade-long feud he has had with former best friend Michael Jordan.
The basketball icons have both turned 60, and for the past 10 years, Barkley said that they hadn’t exchanged words despite being thick as thieves previously, following a furious row that has seemingly cost them their friendship.
Barkley is now an NBA analyst, who has been outspoken about the sport he graced at the same time as Jordan, who is arguably the greatest basketball player ever.
It was what happened away from the court that Barkley opened up about during an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes and why he and Jordan have kept their silence on each other over the years.
Barkley said that Jordan didn’t take kindly to some criticism given by his former friend during some analysis on TV.
Jordan went “ballistic” according to Barkley, who played for the Phoenix Suns when Jordan was lighting up the league with the Chicago Bulls.
Barkley explained: “Michael disagreed with something I said, and he broke off the friendship. And what I said, I think that he don’t have enough people around him that are gonna tell him, ‘No.’
“And he got really offended, and we haven’t spoken.”
In a previous interview, Barkley said that Jordan exploded with rage and screamed at his friend: “He went ballistic.
“He called me, and that’s the last thing I heard was, ‘m***********, f*** you! You supposed to be my boy.”‘
Barkley added in the CBS interview: “I’m gonna do my job, because I have zero credibility if I criticize other people in the same boat and not criticize my best friend.”
With so many years gone by, and water under the bridge, Barkley was asked whether he would pick up the phone and give Jordan a call, but it would seem that there is one big stumbling block.
Barkley replied: “I got an ego too. You can’t be great at something…that doesn’t give you the right to be a jerk. He got my number.”
With Jordan seemingly fully focused on his ownership of the Charlotte Hornets, it might take a while before Jordan decides to call Barkley first, and the end of this feud is no nearer to being brought to a conclusion.
Newsweek reached out to Barkley and Jordan via Instagram.
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