Charles Barkley considers it terrible that he and Michael Jordan aren’t friends anymore, after his critic of Jordan for an event.
“I would love to be friends with Michael again. He was always like a brother to me and I miss that, but I feel like I have to do my job,” said Barkley who criticized Jordan publicly over the struggles of the Charlotte Hornets.
The rift between Jordan and Barkley began back in 2012 when the latter said Jordan — the current principal owner and chairman of the Hornets basketball team— needed to “do a better job of putting people around him.”
Barkley and Jordan were recently photographed together and it appears the two had reconciled.
However, Barkley told ESPN’s “The Dan Lebatard Show” that the photo was disingenuous as the pair just happened to be at the same place at the same time
Barkley was born and raised in Leeds, Alabama, ten miles (16 km) outside Birmingham, and attended Leeds High School.
During his 16-year NBA career, Barkley was regarded as one of the most controversial, outspoken, and dominating players in the history of basketball. His impact on the sport went beyond his rebounding titles, assists, scoring and physical play. His confrontational mannerisms often led to technical fouls and fines on the court, and his larger than life persona sometimes gave rise to national controversy off of it, such as when he was featured in ads that rejected pro athletes as role models and declared, “I am not a role model.” Although his words often led to controversy, per Barkley his mouth was never the cause because it always spoke the truth. He stated, “I don’t create controversies. They’re there long before I open my mouth. I just bring them to your attention.”
Besides his on-court fights with other players, he has exhibited confrontational behavior off-court. He was arrested for breaking a man’s nose during a fight after a game with the Milwaukee Bucks and also for throwing a man through a plate-glass window after being struck with a glass of ice. Barkley continues to be popular with the fans and media because of his sense of humor and honesty.
As a player, Barkley was a perennial All-Star who earned league MVP honors in 1993. He employed a physical style of play that earned him the nicknames “Sir Charles” and “The Round Mound of Rebound”. He was named to the All-NBA team eleven times and earned two gold medals as a member of the United States Olympic Basketball team. He led both teams in scoring and was instrumental in helping the 1992 “Dream Team” and 1996 Men’s Basketball team compile a perfect 16–0 record. He retired as one of only four players in NBA history to record at least 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists in their career, although a fifth player, Kevin Garnett, has since accomplished that feat.
In recognition of his collegiate and NBA achievements, Barkley’s number 34 jersey was officially retired by Auburn University on March 3, 2001. In the same month, the Philadelphia 76ers also officially retired Barkley’s jersey. On March 20, 2004, the Phoenix Suns honored Barkley as well by retiring his jersey and including him in the “Suns Ring of Honor”.] In recognition of his achievements as a player, Barkley was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.