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“Hey Mr. I-Don’t-Play-Basketball-Anymore”: When Charles Barkley made fun of Michael Jordan on national television in a Nike commercial

Akash Murty
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"Hey Mr. I-Don’t-Play-Basketball-Anymore": When Charles Barkley made fun of Michael Jordan on national television in a Nike commercial

Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley were on every other commercial in the 90s but this Nike commercial could have been their best.

As distant as they are now, Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley were the closest of friends during their hay days in the NBA.

Both of them were from the same draft class of 1984. That class was studded with other legends of the game like Hakeem Olajuwon and John Stockton.

All these future Hall of Famers alongside the stars of 80s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson popularized the sport of basketball like never before.

Also read: Charles Barkley reveals meeting the hip hop mogul is one of the top things on his bucket list

And after the 1992 Summer Olympics where team USA sent the best ever squad from the NBA, “the Dream Team”, boasting the best of 80s and 90s players in a single team, the popularity of the game skyrocketed. Barkley was the top scorer in the Olympics where team USA easily won the Gold.

The Nike ad that featured NBA’s two best players

The increase in popularity brought a multitude of commercials and endorsements for the stars in NBA. And Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley were few of the hottest commodities in the league those days. Not just on the court but as public figures, because of their larger-than-life personalities. Both of them were a constant sighting on commercials and advertisements.

After their 1993 Finals meeting, the MVP of that season- Barkley, and Finals MVP- Jordan, were on a Nike commercial together.

As the then 3-time champ had decided to take time off and play Baseball, this commercial saw Barkley trolling Jordan asking him whether Jordan could dunk like him in his shoes, calling him ‘Mr. I-Don’t-Play-Anymore’.

While the Bulls legend was out of the league Nike might have had a new star in their mind, as they gave the Suns MVP his own shoe deal. But that opportunity was taken away by Hakeem Olajuwon who won the Championships in Jordan’s absence both years.

It wasn’t for long, as Jordan made a comeback and reclaimed his throne of the best player in the league. He took it with authority by again three-peating the championship with the Bulls, just half the season after he came back.

Also read: McLaren F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo talks about the influence The GOAT had on him

While Chuck and Mike’s friendship ended a long time ago, this short advertisement can always take them back to those happy old days.

About the author

Akash Murty

Akash Murty

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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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