Charles Barkley says Michael Jordan only bullied teammates who wouldn't 'whoop the hell out of you'

Sporting News

Charles Barkley recently said he feels "sadness" about his deteriorated friendship with Michael Jordan. Well, these comments certainly aren't going to help mend fences.

During an appearance on Monday's edition of "The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz," Barkley called out Jordan for "selective prosecution" with his teammates. Episode 7 of ESPN's documentary series "The Last Dance" explored Jordan's leadership methods, which included harsh criticism of his teammates. Jordan also occasionally got into physical altercations during practices, most notably punching Steve Kerr in the eye.

MORE: Why did Michael Jordan retire in 1993?

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"Well, you know he has selective prosecution over there, right? He knows who to pick on," Barkley said. "There's certain guys you can't treat like that. You have to know what guys you can treat badly, and they're gonna accept it. Screaming at guys all the time, punching guys — come on, man.

"There's certain guys that would whoop the hell out of you if you tried doing that. He has selective prosecution. I mean, Scott Burrell and Steve Kerr. Come on, man."

When asked at the end of Episode 7 about not being viewed as a "nice guy," Jordan delivered an emotional monologue explaining why he pushed his teammates so hard.

"Winning has a price. And leadership has a price. So I pulled people along when they didn't want to be pulled. I challenged people when they don't want to be challenged. And I earned that right because my teammates came after me. They didn't endure all the things that I endured. Once you join the team, you live at a certain standard that I play the game, and I wasn't gonna take anything less. Now, if that means I have to go out there and get in your ass a little bit, then I did that. You ask all my teammates, the one thing about Michael Jordan was, he never asked me to do something that he didn't f—ing do. When people see this, they're gonna say, 'Well, he wasn't really a nice guy. He may have been a tyrant.' Well, that's you, because you never won anything. I wanted to win, but I wanted them to win and be a part of that as well. I don't have to do this. I'm only doing it because it is who I am. That's how I played the game. That was my mentality. If you don't want to play that, don't play that way. Break."

As for the rift between the two Hall of Famers, Barkley doesn't appear to be interested in ending the feud anytime soon.

"That's never gonna happen, Dan. You can let that go," Barkley said. "That's never gonna happen. ... Michael's doing great. Chuck's doing great. But that's never gonna happen, brother. I'm too stubborn for that."

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