Michael Jordan Told His Coach Why He Gifted Charles Barkley a $20,000 Diamond Earring Before Match: “What’s $20,000 to me? Charles Think We’re Great Friends. I Hate that Fat F*ck”

Published 12/19/2021, 8:30 AM EST


Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley were part of the elite 84′ Draft class and were drafted two picks apart. The duo aren’t the best of friends right now, but that doesn’t mean they never were. In fact, Barkley and Jordan were good friends during their active playing career.

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Jordan had a successful NBA career and retired as one of the greatest of all time. Barkley had a wonderful career on an individual level as well, but he failed to win a championship. He came close on several occasions but ended his career without an NBA championship.

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The closest Barkley was to winning a championship was in 1993. Barkley’s Suns faced Jordan’s Bulls in the Finals and it was labeled as ‘Barkley vs Jordan’ showdown. The Suns lost to the Bulls in six games and Jordan won his first three-peat. But there is a story from the 1993 Finals, where Jordan fooled Barkley.

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Michael Jordan fooled Charles Barkley by gifting a $20,000 diamond earring before game 4 of 1993 Finals

Jordan and Barkley faced each other on the court several times. But it appeared that they had a good relationship off it. In fact, they went golfing ahead of Suns vs Bulls game 4 of the 1993 NBA Finals. However, it isn’t what it looks like. Former Bulls assistant coach Johnny Bach once revealed how Jordan fooled Barkley ahead of their crucial 4th game of the NBA finals.

(Original Caption) Michael Jordan, forward for the Chicago Bulls, holding a basketball in the locker room.

“The day before game 4 of the Bulls Suns finals with the Bulls leading the series 2-1. Michael and Charles Barkley went golfing. They played 48 holes of golf. And Michael bought Charles a $20,000 diamond earring,” Johnny said. 

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“Johnny asked MJ, “what did you do all that for?” Michael responded, “he won’t get in my way the rest of the series, what’s $20,000 to me? Charles thinks we’re great friends. I hate that fat f—.” Jordan dropped 55 in game 4 and Barkley never touched him once.”

1993 Finals was a series between two of the best players of that time. However, Jordan came up top again as he completed his championship three-peat by beating the Suns in six games.

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Sadly, now, the two are not that close anymore. Jordan went on to win another three-peat with the Bulls and retired for the second time in 1998. Barkley, however, tried his luck with Houston Rockets. But the Rockets were on a decline at that time and failed to win anything during Barkley’s four-year stay.

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Abhishek Singh

442 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

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