1. There aren’t many people more honest than Charles Barkley, but it was still a little surprising to hear him divulge certain details of his falling out with his former best friend Michael Jordan.
In a new interview with Taylor Rooks, Barkley revealed that he and Jordan have crossed paths about five times in the years since their friendship ended, but they’ve always just walked right past each other without saying a word.
Barkley explained how 10 years ago he publicly questioned whether Jordan could be successful as an executive with the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets).
“It’s a really unfortunate situation for me and him,” Barkley said. “But I’m going to do my job, first and foremost. Because I can’t criticize other coaches and general managers, and give him a pass because he’s my best friend. I just can’t do that.”
Barkley then added, “I said that he didn’t think Jordan had enough of a supporting cast around him in the front office to be successful and I said that, and I had no problem saying that because it was the truth. And he took offense and he called me, and it wasn’t a pleasant conversation, and we haven’t spoken since then.”
Rooks, who is a great interviewer and asks excellent follow-ups, then asked Barkley if he knew after that phone call that he wouldn’t talk to Jordan again for a while.
“I thought it would blow over, to be honest with you. And he’s stubborn, and I’m stubborn and that’s it.”
Rooks then asked Barkley what he would say to Jordan if he saw him today.
“What I said was what I believed. I’m sorry you took offense to it. And let’s get past this bulls— and go back to playing golf and having fun,” answered Barkley.
The TNT studio host also said, “It’s sad and it’s unfortunate” that the former friends have been in the same room multiple times over the past 10 years but have never spoken.
This is the part that stuck with me. I don’t know all the inside details and dynamics of the friendship, but it’s a little absurd that Jordan would carry the grudge this long. It’s been a decade. Get over it, and talk to Charles next time you see him.
2. Stephen A. Smith showed up more than 20 minutes late to Tuesday’s episode of First Take, but he was adamant that he will not start leaving his house any earlier for the 10 a.m. show.
3. As I’ve written here many times: Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel should be one of your favorite people in all of sports. Just listen to this exchange he had with Tua on the sidelines Sunday.
4. Just a tremendous performance by Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Stephen A. Smith, Molly Qerim and Marcus Spears on First Take on Wednesday morning discussing Odell Beckham Jr.‘s recent incident on an airplane.
5. The Rock used to steal Snickers bars from 7-Eleven as a kid, so he decided to right the wrong by going into a 7-Eleven and buying every Snickers bar in the place.
6. The latest episode of the SI Media Podcast features a conversation with Kevin Burkhardt from Fox Sports.
Burkhardt talks about getting Fox’s lead NFL play-by-play job after Joe Buck left for ESPN. He reveals how he found out Buck was leaving and talks about the difference between being on the A crew and B crew. Burkhardt also discusses his partnership with Greg Olsen, his future partnership with Tom Brady and what Olsen told Brady when they first saw each other this season. Burkhardt also gives us insight into why he does studio for MLB, how he handled a recent travel nightmare and more.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 60th birthday to the legendary Bo Jackson.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.