Bulls legend Michael Jordan brushes aside Charles Barkley’s belief of winning an NBA championship after the latter dodges elimination in Game Five of the 1993 NBA Finals.
Two of the greatest basketball icons in Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley came face to face during the 1993 NBA Finals. While MJ and co were on a quest for a 3-peat, Barkley was having his career year, winning the league MVP. Interestingly, the two Hall of Famers were good friends at one time.
Both Jordan and Barkley were part of the iconic 1984 NBA Draft. Though the two don’t see eye to eye anymore, they shared a brother-like bond during their playing days. The two superstar’s chemistry was visible during an iconic episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show.
It’s no secret that the Chuckster doesn’t mince his words, something MJ appreciated about him. The two would often mock each other in public but had the utmost respect for each other’s game. The two MVPs played golf together and were part of the iconic 1992 Olympic Dream Team.
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MJ believed Barkley’s statement of being destined to win a championship in 1993 was delusional.
Michael Jordan rubbished Charles Barkley’s claims of being destined to win a championship.
The 1993 NBA Finals saw classmates of the 1984 draft class square off against each other. Barkley was coming off winning the league MVP, while the Phoenix Suns were the no.1 seed in the league, winning a franchise-record 62 games. On the other hand, MJ and the Bulls were coming off being back-to-back champions.
Despite having a home-court advantage, the Suns would lose the first 2-games against the Bulls. However, Barkley and co would steal one on the road and win Game Five at home, making the series 2-3 While addressing the media post Game Five’s loss, MJ mocked Barkley’s claims of winning the chip.
Barkley: “I believe in my heart that it is our destiny to win the championship”. Jordan: “He’s been telling me that crap, ever since he’s been here”. Michael Jordan’s post-game thoughts, after the Suns staved off elimination in Game 5 of the 1993 NBA Finals.#NBA #BullsNation pic.twitter.com/Gr9T330bs3
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His Airness stuck to his words, winning Game Six with Bulls point guard John Paxson’s scoring the game-winning 3-pointer and the Bulls becoming the first team in the modern era to have 3-peated.
It’s been almost two decades, and Jordan still holds the record for the highest PPG in Finals history. The Bulls superstar averaged 41.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 6.3 assists in the Finals against Barkley. MJ shot 50.8% from the field and 40.9% from the 3-point line. On the other hand, Barkley averaged 27.3 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 5.5 assists.
Chuckster later admitted that his team was overwhelmed playing against the Bulls in the Finals and lacked confidence.