“I Hate That Fat F—”: How Michael Jordan Once Bribed Charles Barkley the Night Before NBA Finals

Published 04/30/2020, 4:39 AM EDT

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The career of Michael Jordan is a storyteller’s delight. An illustrious rise to the top, with stories of all kinds. One such story is about an incident that happened a night before the Game 4 of NBA Finals between Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns.

It was a series that saw two of the greatest all-time players- Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley– go head-to-head. It had a lot in it for the Bulls. They had won the last two Championships and were looking to achieve a three-peat. After the first three games of the series, the Bulls were leading the series 2-1.

A night before game 4, Jordan and Barkley had gone golfing. The then assistant coach of Bulls Johnny Bach narrated the story. The two played 48 holes of golf. Interestingly, Jordan brought Barkley a $20,000 diamond earring after the game. And more interestingly, it was only for Barkley to think he was good friends with Jordan, so he would leave the latter alone in the game.


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“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,” Bach 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.”

Michael Jordan: An athlete unmatched by none

This was only another incredible story in the legend’s life. Jordan popularized NBA across the world. His unprecedented record during his time made him an athlete that very few others could match.


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Playing 14 seasons in the NBA, Jordan has appeared in 1072 games and scored at an average of 30.1 points per game. His Bulls team in the 1990s has achieved the dominance that many could only dream of. In eight years between 1990 and 1998, the Bulls won six titles. Jordan was not playing in the two seasons that they failed to win the titles.

Recently, ESPN released a documentary titled ‘The Last Dance’ celebrating Jordan and his incredible run of titles. It has become an instant hit with great viewership around the world.


Written by:

Saketh Kandadai


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