Charles Barkley admitted being "really, really sad" at the breakdown of his friendship with Michael Jordan.
Both entered the NBA in the 1984 Draft as Jordan developed into a global icon over the next decade and Barkley established himself as one of the league's biggest stars.
Jordan and Barkley were both part of the Dream Team in 1992 and shared a strong friendship.
Their relationship turned sour eight years ago when Barkley criticized Jordan's handling of the Charlotte Bobcats.
"The guy was like a brother to me for, shoot, 20-something years," Barkley said. "At least 20-something years. And I do, I feel sadness. But to me he's still the greatest basketball player ever. I wish him nothing but the best. But, there's nothing I can do about it, brother."
Jordan bought the Bobcats in 2006, before becoming the majority owner four years later. Under his ownership, the franchise which changed its name back to The Hornets in 2014 has made the playoffs just twice, finishing with a losing record in six seasons.
"I think the biggest problem has been I don't know if he has hired enough people around him who he will listen to," Barkley said in March 2012. I don't think Michael has hired enough people around him who will disagree. I love Michael, but he just has not done a good job. Even though he is one of my great friends, I can't get on here and tell you he's done a great job. He has not done a great job, plain and simple."
Since the comments eight years ago, Barkley's relationship with Jordan has been non-existent. Much to his frustration MJ retains a rapport with Phil Jackson, despite the fact the he echoed Barkley's thoughts.
"And the thing that really p****d me off about it later is Phil Jackson said the exact same thing."
Barkley featured in Episode 6 of The Last Dance, ESPN's 10-part series chronicling Jordan's final season with the Bulls.
The documentary delved into the relationship between the two, illustrating how an intense rivalry was underlined by mutual respect and genuine friendship. Jordan, admitted being annoyed by the latter being named regular season MVP in 1993. Jordan exacted his revenge when Chicago met Barkley and the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals, winning the series 4-2 to clinch a third consecutive title.
Asked whether the airing of the documentary may offer a perfect opportunity to mend his relationship with Jordan, Barkley did not sound particularly hopeful.
Oh, he has got my number," he said. "He can call me.
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