Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley once were very close friends. Even though they were extremely competitive on the court, His Airness and Chuck had a good relationship when they didn't compete for NBA teams.
MJ really appreciated their friendship, as Barkley once revealed the Chicago Bulls legend picked him up on his private jet after Chuck suffered a bad playoffs loss. All those things are in the past now. Jordan and Barkley's relationship fell apart when the latter started his analyst career and criticized his friend's decisions as an executive for the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets.
The relationship is unsalvageable now after Chuck made some comments that didn't sit well with MJ. If there was hope that they could get back together, Charles Oakley made sure to shut them down. Talking with Dave Feschuk of The Toronto Star, Oakley talked about the players he clashed with in the past, including former teammate Patrick Ewing.
He said that his relationship with Chuck isn't good right now and Michael Jordan shares that feeling.
Along with setting the record straight on the long-told story of Oakley’s fight with Barkley at a late-1990s players’ association meeting — “I did not punch Charles Barkley,” Oakley clarifies in the book. “I did, however, slap the s--- out of him” — Oakley refuted Barkley’s recent public claims that their relationship has since become cordial.
“He’s not close with Michael (Jordan) no more. I don’t know who he’s really on (good) terms with now,” Oakley said of Barkley. “So I know he wants to come to the cookout and play 18 holes with us. But we’re not inviting him no more. He’s out. You act up, you go stand in the corner with one leg in the air .... That’s Charles, in the corner of the playground by himself. You can see him, because he’s kind of big.”
What was once a very good relationship ended up in a dramatic way, with Jordan taking some distance from Barkley. Nothing points out that they will ever make amends and Oakley's words only confirm that Jordan doesn't want to become friends with Chuck again, just like he claimed was the case with Scottie Pippen.
You already know he takes things personally and a direct and harsh criticism like Barkley must have been painful for His Airness. Still, the 1993 NBA MVP keeps doing his thing, entertaining fans with his takes on TNT's Inside the NBA, while MJ is making the right decisions to make the Charlotte Hornets a competitive team in the Eastern Conference.