Charles Barkley feuded with both Dennis Rodman and Michael Jordan as the Chicago Bulls went on to post a 72-10 regular season record.
Throughout the course of NBA history, the league has had a plethora hotheads step foot on their hardwood. Charles Barkley was definitely one of these guys as he continually came to blows with opposing superstars like Shaquille O’Neal, Scottie Pippen, and of course, Dennis Rodman.
Many forget that Rodman was an integral component of what made the ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons so lethal on both ends of the floor. Not only was he an elite offensive and defensive rebounder but brought a sense of mental toughness that the Bulls frontcourt lacked due to the departure of Horace Grant.
Having Dennis Rodman, Michael Jordan, and Scottie Pippen on the same squad certainly was a menacing matchup for anybody that dared to challenge them for a championship. Charles Barkley previously encountered a Rodman-less Bulls in the 1993 NBA Finals, a series he lost in 6.
Charles Barkley and Dennis Rodman butt heads during a Suns-Bulls game in 1996.
Having Charles Barkley go head-to-head with Dennis Rodman had to have been considered must-watch television back when the two were in their primes on the Suns and on the Bulls, respectively. With both operating off the glass, the two were bound to clash, and in a game in February of 1996, they did.
Throughout the entirety of the game, Rodman seemed to get into Chuck’s skin, resulting the latter hitting ‘The Worm’ with a not-so sneaky chicken wing. The referees were clearly looking out for excessive physicality between the two eventually called technical fouls on both the rebounding savants.
The Chicago Bulls came away with the win, with Michael Jordan putting the exclamation mark on the victory by draining a tough jumper and pushing Charles Barkley on the sidelines.
Though this quarrel was more mental than physical, it displayed the exact reasons as to why Dennis Rodman was as lethal as he was when it came to playing mind games with the opposing team. Barkley would eventually give Rodman a bit of respect by claiming that if you didn’t want the 5x champ to bother you, hit him hard enough at the beginning of the game.