NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley recalls meeting Michael Jordan for the first time, admitting he had never seen anything like His Airness.
Though they might not see eye to eye today, Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan were great friends back in the day. The two former MVPs were part of the same draft class of 1984 and had some intense battles on the hardwood, the most iconic being the 1993 NBA Finals.
Both Barkley and Jordan had a deep sense of respect for each other’s game. The two All-Stars often hung out together off-court and shared a common interest in golf. Their classic interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show is evidence of this.
Unfortunately, their relationship turned sour, courtesy of The Chuckster’s broadcasting career, where he publicly criticized MJ’s ownership methods. Barkley felt MJ didn’t do a great job running the Charlotte Hornets.
Nonetheless, Barkley never fails to recognize the greatness of the Bulls legend. During a recent interview, Chuck narrated his first meeting with Air Jordan.
“I’ve never seen anything like it”: Charles Barkley on Michael Jordan.
The two legends had numerous battles on the hardwood, with Barkley edging Jordan 19-20. However, MJ won it when it mattered the most, the 93 Finals being a classic example. Chuck and MJ played together on the iconic 1992 Dream Team at the Olympics in Barcelona, winning gold.
Despite their soured relationship, Chuckster has always maintained MJ being a better player than him. During a recent interview on TNT, the Suns legend recalled meeting Jordan for the first time at the Olympic trials.
“The first time I met Michael was at the Olympic trials, and I remember going to the airport, me, John Stockton, Karl Malone, and Terry Porter, and I get back to college and John Thompson calls my coach, ‘Hey Chuck, I just want you to know that you’re the second-best player here.”‘
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Chuck recalls his first time meeting MJ. pic.twitter.com/PFItsnkVX0
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 18, 2022
Barkley added how he seconded Thompson’s statement about MJ being the best player. It’s sad to see the former MVPs not be on talking terms anymore, as it would be every hoop fan’s dream to have them sit down for a one-on-one interview.