This Michael Jordan-Charles Barkley Story From the 1993 NBA Finals is Unbelievably Savage
Starting Sunday night, ESPN will begin to air the new documentary series “The Last Dance,” which follows Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ run to the 1998 NBA championship. The NBA world has been abuzz with MJ hype, as the documentary is the most exciting thing happening in basketball (and perhaps all of sports) with the NBA’s season currently on hold.
NBA twitter has been sharing Jordan stories all week in the lead up to the documentary, putting His Airness’ competitiveness and singular talent on display. And in the 1993 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns, we shouldn’t ever forget when MJ went above and beyond to stop Suns star Charles Barkley.
Jordan is known for being the fiercest of competititors, one would do anything to help his team get a win at any cost. But spending $20,000 to keep Barkley in check? That’s next-level killing with kindness.
Not only is Jordan’s move extremely intelligent — it was ultimately effective. The Chicago Bulls would win the series in six games, completing their first three-peat. Jordan would win Finals MVP, scorching the Phoenix Suns for 41 points per game.
Jordan knew his competitors inside and out, dominating them on them physically and mentally. Buying a rival a gaudy diamond earring to trick them into thinking they were friends and gain an upper hand is GOAT material.
Jordan’s earring purchase belongs up there with his free throw line dunk and “The Shrug” as one of his greatest moments of all time.