Michael Jordan, who gifted Charles Barkley a $20,000 Diamond Earring, was accused by the same of ‘selective persecution’

Adit Pujari
|Published September 19, 2022

Michael Jordan, who was like a brother to Charles Barkley, broke off all connections with the Philadelphia legend.

Believe it or not but Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley were once close to each other. The two eternal rivals on the basketball court developed camaraderie off of it.

Their connection was legendary and, though the friendship was born from professional competition, built on mutual respect. Jordan once famously ‘bribed‘ Chuck with diamond earrings after a day of golfing.

But after 20 long years, Sir Charles’ unfateful comments cut through Jordan and their friendship. The two have since severed their ties.

For Barkley, whose desire to entwine with controversy dictated his perception, saying what he felt was true is not new or surprising.

For years, candid Chuck has mesmerized a generation of basketball fans with his out-of-line but honest takes. A feud for him is the by-product of being himself. It’s not that speaking his mind is a preference, it’s the only way Barkley goes about things.

He finds even the idea of withholding his words repulsive. And though that has made him a widely popular TV personality, it has also left him with plenty of soured relations.

While on a radio show in 2012, Chuck had publicly judged Michael Jordan to be a failing owner and GM. In an interview, Barkley revealed:

“I’m pretty sure I said, ‘As much as I love Michael, until he stops hiring them kiss-asses, and his best friends, he’s never going to be successful as a general manager. And I remember pretty much verbatim I said that.”

Also read: “Michael Jordan bribed Charles Barkley with a $20,000 diamond earring”: When Bulls legend gained a mental edge over Charles Barkley by golfing during the 1993 NBA Finals

Michael Jordan was accused by Charles Barkley of picking on weaker teammates

After the release of the docuseries ‘Last Dance,’ the enigma of MJ reached its peak. People around the world were left cooped up and ended up consuming the episodes week after week.

The timing couldn’t have been better for the documentary’s success. All sporting events were canceled and Chicago Bulls’ legendary run took over people’s consciousness.

Chuck being Chuck, he gave an honest reaction to episode 7 of the show while on a podcast. Barkley took the opportunity to call out Michael Jordan for his treatment of teammates. Chuck accused MJ of carefully choosing who to go after.

Barkley said: Well, you know that he has selective prosecution over there, right? He knows who to pick on. There’s certain guys you can’t treat like that. You have to know what guys you can treat badly, and they’re gonna accept it. Screaming at guys all the time, punching guys — come on, man.”

Last Dance revealed Jordan’s control over his teammates. The episode highlighted MJ berating his teammates. His fight with Stever Kerr was also immortalized by the show.

Do you think Charles Barkley is right to claim Jordan picks who to go after? That he would back down in front of people capable of retaliating?

Also read: Charles Barkley called out Michael Jordan’s “$180 million” investment as egregious leading to a massive fall-out

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About the author

Adit Pujari

Adit Pujari is an NBA Content Manager at The SportsRush. He formerly worked as a debate and writing trainer. An avid fan of Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, Adit began following the sport in 2007. With the Lakers and Boston Celtics rivalry ripe, Adit found himself hooked on the sport immediately. Having followed NBA for 15 years, he decided to use his knowledge base as a sports writer in 2021. Since then, he has worked as an NBA writer, led a team of MLB writers, and has now joined The SportsRush. In his spare time, Adit loves playing basketball and climbing Himalayan peaks and passes. He has also authored a poetry book.

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