Charles Barkley Explains How Michael Jordan Built The Hornets Into A Playoff Team

Charles Barkley Michael JordanAlberto E. Roridguez/Getty, Streeter Lecka/GettyCharles Barkley and Michael Jordan no longer speak after Barkley criticised how Jordan was running the Charlotte Hornets.

Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley were two of the best players in the NBA during their careers, and had created a friendship during the course of their face-offs.

According to Barkley, he and Jordan’s friendship has become strained because of criticisms Barkley made about Jordan’s ownership of the Charlotte (then-Bobcats) Hornets.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, Barkley said he and Jordan haven’t mended their relationship, but he believes his original criticisms helped Jordan build the Hornets into a playoff team:

“We’re not friendly, but I still love him. He’s doing a good job now… I said Michael had to get rid of the people around him. You can’t have your friends working for you; you’ve got to surround yourself with good basketball people. He had not done that. I love what he did with Al Jefferson. I love him going out and getting Lance [Stephenson]. I love the kid Noah Vonleh from Indiana. He’s done a good job, but he had not done a good job up until then. It’s obviously put a strain on our relationship and we’re not together anymore.”

When asked if Jordan would “pick up the phone” to make amends, Barkley laughed:

“No (laughs). And it’s not in my personality either. (laughs). I’m not going to call up and apologise for saying what I said. They were setting the record for the worst team in NBA history and I said Michael just has to do a better job. He had to get rid of the flunkies around him and hire real basketball people. He does that now. They have been doing a great job since he got rid of his flunkies and hired basketball people. But he [Michael] can’t hear the good stuff.”

Barkley’s criticisms weren’t wrong. The Bobcats had set the NBA record for losses in a season, they had wasted high draft picks on busts, made signings for win-now veterans that didn’t work out, and had only made the playoffs once, in what resulted as a four-game sweep.

Barkley mentions when he leaves TNT’s “Inside the NBA” he would love a shot at managing a team. He’s never had front-office experience, but he appears to have a good grip on what he should and shouldn’t do.

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