ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith continues to generate headlines via his midweek appearance on "The Howard Stern Show."
As Brandon Contes noted for Awful Announcing, Smith disputed the notion that NBA legend and sports icon Michael Jordan handles media criticism poorly.
"Michael Jordan is one of these things, there’s a misnomer about him," Smith explained. "People get on him because they think that he can’t take criticism. That is not true. Michael Jordan will cuss me out or somebody else out quicker than you can say your name if you blindside him. If you call Michael Jordan, 'this is how I feel, here’s why,' he’s got no problem with you. Give him an opportunity to explain, and if he has no explanation or he couldn’t reach you…he’s very big about that."
Back in the spring of 2020 when the majority of the sports world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jordan received backlash from some media members and fans because Jump 23, his production company, partnered in the creation of the popular "The Last Dance" docuseries. The suggestion at the time was that Jordan influenced at least "certain aspects" of the project's final cut.
More recently, Charles Barkley discussed during a November episode of the "Let's Go!" SiriusXM show and podcast about how he lost his friendship with Jordan over comments made about MJ's ownership of the Charlotte Hornets.
"Michael got offended about something I said about him," Barkley told Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, per Contes. "And we haven’t spoken in probably almost 10 years. And he was my best friend at the time. And I love the dude like a brother and we’re both stubborn and we haven’t talked."
Outsiders may never know all that occurred between Jordan and Barkley behind the scenes. Whatever happened, history indicates that Jordan probably took it personally (video contains not-safe-for-work language):
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