“Charles Barkley shut up, it’s like playing with hair”: when Michael Jordan had the perfect analogy for Chuck after fighting with him in a Bulls-Rockets match


Michael Jordan once hilariously compared Charles Barkley to shut up against him while letting his hair grow out after a heated Bulls-Rockets game.

Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley have known each other for almost 4 decades when they entered the NBA together in the 1984 Draft. Their careers, of course, have taken two very distinct paths, one having managed to land six championships while that the other wouldn’t be able to muster a single championship, in large part because of the existence of the Bulls superstar.

The two were friends off the field on their playing days, as they frequently golfed together while joking about interviews like Oprah. As Chuck settled into retirement and became an NBA analyst, his criticism of Michael Jordan and the way he handled his work at the Wizards front office caused a rift between them to form.

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However, during the clash on the pitch, neither backed away from the other. This was fully on display during a game between the Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets in January 1998.

Michael Jordan playing against Charles Barkley.

Charles Barkley possessed a competitive vigor within him that only players like Michael Jordan and the privileged few throughout history shared. It happened quite explosively as the two Hall of Fame members faced off in a Bulls-Rockets match in what would be Jordan’s final season as Bull.

Throughout the night, 24,000 people testified as Chuck and Jordan faced each other, the former doing everything he could to fuel a comeback against the defending champions. He would end the night with a vintage Barkley statline of 35 points and 14 assists on 11-14 shots from the field.

Michael Jordan stole the show at home, however, dropping 45 points on a 16-29 shot, paving the way for a 106-100 home win.

After the game Jordan was asked about his scuffles on the field with Charles, to which the former replied: “Charles is not Charles, he keeps his mouth shut. It’s like I’m playing with my hair.

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