Having Received a $20,000 Bribe From Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley Later Accepted MJ as the Best Player in the World

Akash Murty
|Published November 09, 2022

In a league full of superstars and future legends, Charles Barkley was one of the best basketball players during the late 80s and for the most part of the 90s. The Sixers legend never considered himself lesser than Michael Jordan until he had to.

Just two years into the league, the future 11x All-Star started putting up MVP seasons by 1986-87, the same time Jordan started to give his best. Although he never got an MVP award until 1993, in Barkley’s mind, he was the best player in the league.

Ironically, he got the reality check that he wasn’t it in the same year, he won his only MVP.

Also read: Shaquille O’Neal Hilariously Refused To Pay Charles Barkley $10,000 Despite National TV Bet

When Charles Barkley accepted Michael Jordan was better than him at basketball

Until he played with the Philadelphia 76ers, the way it was built and managed, Chuck never stood a chance to lead his team anywhere close to an NBA title.

As soon as he knew he was going to join the Suns in the 1992-93 season, Barkley was ready to prove to the world and especially the legendary coach Chuck Daly that he was better than Jordan.

The man who took a $20,000 “gift” from MJ while playing Golf with him after having a 2-1 lead over Jordan in an NBA Finals series, thought he would do it in a few days, but it didn’t.

Listen to him sharing the story of when he accepted the fact that someone is really better than him at basketball, on The Pivot Podcast.

Trailing the Finals by a game, Jordan won the Bulls three straight games and their first three-peat after softening up Barkley after Game 3. Chuck never even got an opportunity to win a championship after that.

But that is not too big a dent in his tremendous NBA career.

Why is Barkley a legend with no championships to show for it?

The 6ft 6” forward who came into the league with MJ in the same Draft as the fifth overall pick was the same size as Jordan but played a lot bigger.

Throughout his 16-year-long NBA career, he played two positions up than he should have and still got more rebounds than many legendary big men while being a terrific scorer as well.

The man who played against the likes of Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon throughout his career ranks #19 on the all-time rebounding list.

Astonishing for a man the size of a shooting guard, isn’t it?

The 1988 rebounding leader’s career averages of over 22 points and close to 12 rebounds even when the last 4-5 years of it were plagued with injuries are enough to prove why he is considered one of the most dominant players of all time even at that size.

Also read: “Charles Barkley’s Shot Might Hurt Their Eyes!”: When Tiger Woods Obliterated Chuck’s Golf Swing




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About the author

Akash Murty

An Electrical and Electronics Engineer by degree, Akash Murty is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. Previously a Software Engineer, Murty couldn’t keep himself away from sports, and his knack for writing and putting his opinion forward brought him to the TSR. A big Soccer enthusiast, his interest in basketball developed late, as he got access to a hoop for the first time at 17. Following this, he started watching basketball at the 2012 Olympics, which transitioned to NBA, and he became a fan of the game as he watched LeBron James dominate the league. Him being an avid learner of the game and ritually following the league for around a decade, he now writes articles ranging from throwbacks, and live game reports, to gossip. LA Lakers are his favourite basketball team, while Chelsea has his heart in football. He also likes travelling, reading fiction, and sometimes cooking.

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