How Rockets’ Charles Barkley situation shows pettiness of Michael Jordan

Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan (Photo credit should read BRIAN BAHR/AFP via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan (Photo credit should read BRIAN BAHR/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets forward Charles Barkley (Photo by Mike FIALA / AFP) (Photo by MIKE FIALA/AFP via Getty Images) /

The cause of the fallout

If there’s one thing we know about the former Houston Rockets forward as an analyst, it’s that he’s brutally honest in his assessments and criticisms. Barkley is arguably the most authentic and transparent media personality, as he’s not been afraid to call out anyone.

We’ve seen Barkley get into it with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, and even the Houston Rockets’ very own Daryl Morey. Barkley recently got into a spat with Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green after Barkley said Green posts “triple-singles” when not surrounded by other stars.

Barkley certainly takes his profession seriously, which he explained when going into detail about his fallout with Jordan. The former Houston Rockets forward said, “I can’t go on TV and say another general manager sucks and then just because Michael’s like a brother to me say he’s doing a fantastic job. That would be disingenuous.”

If there was any necessary example of how Barkley views his job, it’s provided here. Barkley views it as his obligation to be honest and sincere and realizes that hurting feelings comes with the territory. For this reason, it’s no surprise that he criticized Michael Jordan as the decision maker of the Charlotte Hornets, who were the Bobcats at the time of Barkley’s criticisms.

“I think the biggest problem has been I don’t know if he has hired enough people around him who he will listen to,” Barkley said. “One thing about being famous is the people around you, you pay all their bills so they very rarely disagree with you because they want you to pick up the check. They want to fly around on your private jet so they never disagree with you. I don’t think Michael has hired enough people around him who will disagree.”

The harsh reality for Jordan is that Barkley was correct in this situation. Jordan is used to always having all the authority, which was on display even during The Last Dance. During MJ’s playing days, then Bulls GM Jerry Krause approached Jordan about a potential coaching change, as he planned to fire Doug Collins to hire Phil Jackson and wanted to let him know ahead of time.

Over the course of Jordan’s time running the Hornets, he’s certainly been the de-facto in Charlotte, as he removed the authority from Bernie Bickerstaff and promoted his former Bulls teammate Rod Higgins to a President of Basketball Operations role.

This meant Jordan ultimately had the power, and he’s made enough poor decisions to deserve to be criticized from Barkley, regardless of his greatness on the hardwood. We’re talking about him as an executive, and not him as a player and he’s been horrible, which Barkley explained at the time.

“I love Michael, but he just has not done a good job,” Barkley said. “Even though he is one of my great friends, I can’t get on here and tell you he’s done a great job. He has not done a great job, plain and simple.”

Next: MJ's track record in Charlotte