Both groups of players entered the NBA in the same draft year.
Both became friends when they entered the league. Both have had Hall of Fame careers.
The difference now is that one couple is no longer acquaintances while the other’s bond continues to improve.
Earlier this week, it was announced that NBA greats Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan are no longer friends. This comes just a week after LeBron James and his family arrived to show support at the Los Angeles premiere of Dwyane Wade’s wife Gabrielle Union, the new film.
Two sets of the NBA’s top 75 players. Two different results.
Barkley recently said he and Jordan hadn’t spoken to each other in 10 years, despite being golf buddies during their game and after their careers.
He touched on the subject during an appearance on the Let’s Go! Starring Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray.”
“I think probably me and Michael [Jordan] were best friends, that’s probably the most striking thing,” said Barkley, now TNT analyst, “…Michael Jordan, losing his friendship was probably the most striking thing that’s happened to me. But I honestly said what I thought. I said, ‘Listen, the hardest thing about Michael is that he needs better people around him.’ Because the hardest thing is when you’re famous, they sit in your private jet, you buy all the drinks, you buy all the dinners. Very few people will be honest with you. And I try to surround myself with people who say, ‘Hey, if I screw up, please tell me.'”
Jordan and Barkley were part of the 1984 draft class, while Wade and James entered the 2003 draft class. Wade and James have since grown closer, teaming up to win a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics and later win two championships with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013. There are photos of them on the famous “Banana Boat” while vacationing in the Bahamas with Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul in 2015, which will always symbolize their friendship.
Unfortunately, it looks like the same thing isn’t going to happen to Barkley and Jordan.
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Cory Nelson is a staff member of Inside The Heat. He attended Northern Virginia Community College. He can be reached at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @CKenzyNelson. You can also visit his personal blog https://allball30.wordpress.com