Charles Barkley: NBA Players ‘Silly’ for Criticizing Michael Jordan

by November 24, 2011
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Michael Jordan is one of the hardline owners during this NBA lockout, a position that has been wildly unpopular among current players. Charles Barkley, MJ’s good friend, tells ESPN Radio that it’s not very smart of the players to be mad at Mike (via SRI): “If he were advising both sides in the lockout, what would he say: ‘Well I’m kind of mad at the owners right not to be honest with you, because I think the owners are just trying to crush the guys. The players have made so many concessions, and it’s like, is that not enough? I try to explain to a normal person, okay, so the players went from 57 [percent] to 50, and that might not sound like a lot to a normal person, but you’ve got to understand — each one of those points is worth $300 million dollars; each one of those points is worth $300 million dollars. So it’s not like the players aren’t trying to make…it’s not like they’re not sacrificing anything….and I think the owners want even more, and I think they’re just trying to beat them to death right now.’ On Michael Jordan’s role in the negotiations and the heat he’s taking for his tough role in the negotiations ‘Well first of all, don’t believe everything you hear. But Michael is an owner now. He can’t sacrifice his franchise. Listen, he’s the reason that all us players are making the money that we are today. But with that being said, he’s an owner now, he’s got to do what’s best for his franchise. I think it’s silly for players to think MJ should sacrifice the whole NBA for the rights of the players. He’s not a player anymore. When he played, he spoke for the players, he made sure every player got paid an enormous amount of money, but right now he’s an owner. That being said, I’ve been very disappointed with some of the owners as far as — look, this is a partnership, and it’s not like a regular business. I don’t think the players should never go lower than 50-50. I think they should take 50-50, but the owners I think want even more. And that’s what disappoints me, because the players are clearly trying to make a deal. But I think the union wants to break the union for good and get a ten-year deal where they make all the profits.'”