Charles Barkley Shuts Up Shaquille O’Neal For Questioning His Houston Rockets Run: “We Didn’t Know Scottie Pippen Wasn’t Going to Bring Michael Jordan With Him”

Published 12/18/2021, 9:30 AM EST


As one of the best players in the NBA’s long history, many still revere Michael Jordan. This includes fans, the media, current NBA stars, and even former NBA players who developed fierce rivalries with Jordan. One such former NBA rival revealed how Jordan brought a winning mentality to his teams.

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The ‘Inside the NBA’ crew appeared on the ‘Through The Wire’ show as they discussed individual highlights in their career. Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith appeared on the show. Barkley spoke about his stint with the Houston Rockets when O’Neal and Smith teased him about having won zero NBA titles.

Barkley said, “We didn’t know Scottie Pippen wasn’t going to bring Michael Jordan with him. But Hakeem and Clyde were 102 years old. So stop it, Kenny. Yeah, well, I played with some of the old great players, not great players in their prime. You got Hakeem in his prime and I got him when he was prime rib.”

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Barkley played for the Houston Rockets between 1996 to 2000. This stint at the Rockets came at the end of his career with Barkley desperate to win an NBA title which had eluded him all this while. He joined the Rockets, who boasted of having two other NBA greats, Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler on their roster.

Scottie Pippen then joined him at the Rockets in 1998. Pippen has just won the 1998 NBA championship while playing alongside Michael Jordan for the Chicago Bulls. However, despite their best efforts, Barkley ended his career without winning an NBA title while playing for a star-studded side.

Unfortunately for Barkley, Pippen could not bring along Jordan with him to the Rockets as the latter retired for the second time in 1999.

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Michael Jordan and his winning mentality

Being a six time NBA champion and a two Olympic gold medallist doesn’t take place without a relentless winning mentality. Michael Jordan developed that exact mentality to take him over the finish line in his most difficult games. Being gifted with unique abilities on the basketball court wasn’t enough by Jordan’s own admission as it required hard work to hone these abilities.

Michael Johnson #23, shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls prepares to make a shot during a Central Division game in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA) 1988 – 1989 season at Chicago Stadium, Chicago, United States. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Allsport/Getty Images)

Jordan once said, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” This distinct mentality makes Jordan arguably the ‘greatest of all time’ in the game’s history.

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Shalom Saldanha

252 articles

Shalom Saldanha is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his journalism degree, he has previously worked as a sports corresspondent for India Shorts/Business Upturn. A Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bucks fan, Shalom primarily got into the sport after discovering that he shared a mutual love for Arsenal with the 'Greek Freak'.

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