Charles Barkley Calls Michael Jordan His ‘Only Billionaire Friend’ and Reveals How MJ is Crazy for Golf

Published 05/29/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
CHARLOTTE, NC – MAY 02: Michael Jordan watches a shot during the po-am at the Wachovia Championship at Quail Hollow Country Club on May 2, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)


If reincarnation is a genuine phenomenon, everyone would agree that Michael Jordan would take birth as a golfer in his next life. Well, that’s certainly a loss for basketball and baseball, but a big gain for MJ, who loves golfing. 

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The Last Dance perfectly captured the dynamics between MJ and his passion for golf. It showed how Air Jordan would bet heavy money and would not allow any controversy to pull him out of his addiction. But when the same story comes from one of his greatest on-court rivals, it makes things even more revealing. 

Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, and their other shared interest

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Both MJ and Chuck love the sport of golf and share this passion for the greens. Charles Barkley last participated in the Champions Tour where he showed he has worked on his otherwise bizarre swing. So naturally, the NBA on TNT analyst receives offers to speak on gold-centered podcasts.

In one of his recent appearances, the retired NBA player discussed how no one touches Michael Jordan in betting. The 58-YO revealed, “First of all there’s nobody in the league who has that type of money. Michael’s on a whole another level, he’s my only billionaire friend. A lot of guys are just gambling, he’s like really gambling. No, but it’s interesting though, he is for real.” 

Notably, Michael Jordan has his name in history books for becoming the first billionaire athlete in the world. He achieved that feat mostly because of Air Jordan, which, even today, is the top-selling basketball sneaker brand.

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MJ and his immortal energy goes beyond the basketball court

Michael Jordan smokes after hitting to the seventh green during the RBC Canadian Open’s Mike Weir Charity Classic Pro-Am at Glen Abbey Golf Club. July 20, 2009 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

Michael Jordan is highly competitive, but he has never limited that trait to just his on-court life. Even when it came to his love for golfing, the super affluent man showed a great deal of character and built his own golf course, The Grove XIII. Since MJ does not like to lose, he made the architect fabricate the design of his golf course to support his style. 

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Even Sir Charles agreed to Jordan’s unmatchable fashion when he revealed, “We go on vacation and we play like 54 holes. Everybody is in on the first day, everybody is in on the second day, because after that we’re just totally freaking exhausted. And this dude is a man. He can play like every single day, all day long. He is the most interesting guy when it comes to, we’re all tired and he’s still going. It’s crazy!”

Now, playing 54 holes in a day comes under the ironman category and we’re sure MJ can pull that off whenever he wants. 

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Are you also a golfing fan? If yes, who do you want to see MJ going against one-on-one? Help us know in the comments.

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Sourabh Singh

1273 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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