Basketball Hall of Fame member Charles Barkley admits he is still "very, very sad" that his longtime friendship with Michael Jordan deteriorated years ago because of critical comments Barkley made about the way Jordan ran the Charlotte Bobcats franchise.
But Barkley does not seem optimistic about a reconciliation.
"The guy was like a brother to me for 20 and a half years of filming," Barkley said on the Waddle and Silvy Show on Tuesday at ESPN 1000 in Chicago. "At least 20-something. And I feel, I feel sad. But for me he is still the best basketball player of all time. I don't wish him anything but the best. But there is nothing I can do about it, brother".
Following the most recent episode of "The Last Dance", which featured Barkley's Suns falling to Jordan's Bulls in the 1993 NBA finals, Barkley was asked again if there was any hope that the relationship between the two stars he could go back to where he went.
"Oh, he got my number," said Barkley. "He can call me."
What if Jordan called and told Barkley that he was wrong and understood that the commentator was just doing his job?
"It's been a long time," said Barkley. "So I don't think so."
Barkley, who has been a frequent guest on the show for more than a decade, originally made his comments on the same show over eight years ago. The relationship has been broken since then.
"What bothered me most about this whole thing, I don't think I said anything so bad," said Barkley. "I'm sure I said," As much as I love Michael, until he stops hiring them and his best friends, he will never succeed as a general manager. "And I remember almost who literally said that. And what pissed me off the most was Phil Jackson saying the exact same thing. "
What frustrated Barkley is the fact that Jordan still has a relationship with Jackson, but he interrupted communication with someone who had been one of his closest friends in the league.
"Listen, if you're famous, and Michael, at one point, was the most famous person in the world, everyone around you is on the payroll or allows you to buy drinks and dine and fly in your private jet. Very few friends will be honest with you, and this is very difficult for any celebrity, but especially for someone of your stature.
"But I thought that was one of the reasons we were great friends. How can I ask Charles anything and I know he will give me a straight answer. But part of my job [as an analyst] it's because I can't go on TV and say & # 39; Another general manager sucks & # 39; and then because Michael is like a brother to me, he says & # 39; he is doing a fantastic job & # 39 ;. That would be false. "
Barkley said that part of his job as a broadcaster is sometimes to criticize people and teams he likes personally. A former 76er, Barkley compared his slit with Jordan to one he has with a current Sixers star.
"Joel Embiid hates me because i call him lazy. Come on, number 1, I'm like, & # 39; Dude, you need to get in shape to play basketball & # 39 ;. They don't make you practice. It's like, well, he has bad legs. This is not how you improve your legs. You work and improve your legs. Put it in the pool or something. But he's a great kid, but I'm like 'Hey, man. You need to get in shape to play basketball. So, I'm going to do my job, no matter what. "