Charles Barkley addresses Michael Jordan golf rumors during 1993 NBA Finals: “Me and Mike made a pact that we would stay away from each other during the Finals”

There's a story that Michael Jordan softened up Charles Barkley by taking him to golf and gifting him diamond earrings before Game 4 of the 1993 NBA Finals.

Jordan's Bulls lost Game 3, and with Barkley and the Suns looking for the equalizer at home, MJ reportedly 'bribed' Barkley hoping that his 'generosity' would make his rival think twice about going hard at them in the next game.

It turned out that the story was pure fiction. Barkley cleared the air during an appearance at The New Heights podcast with Travis and Jason Kelce.

"First of all, me and Mike had already made a pact that we would stay away from each other during the Finals. Now he did give me the earrings one Christmas, that's a true story. This rumor that he took me golfing during the Finals and buttered me up is 100% not true."

Barkley and MJ were like brothers

Born three days apart and drafted one pick apart in the 1984 NBA Draft, Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley used to be best friends and were even like brothers before their relationship went downhill after Sir Charles criticized the way MJ ran the Charlotte Hornets.

In 1993, the two superstars were still very close buddies, and the story of MJ softening up Barkley originated from former Chicago Bulls assistant coach Johnny Bach. According to Bach, the two stars played 48 holes of golf before Game 4, and Jordan gifted Barkley with diamond earrings worth $20,000.

Allegedly, Bach asked Jordan why he gave Barkley the earrings, and MJ reportedly replied, "He won't get in my way the rest of the series; what's $20,000 to me? Charles thinks we're great friends. I hate that fat f**k."

MJ delivered a double-nickel in Game 4

Jordan went on to score 55 points in Game 4 as the Bulls won the game 111-105. With the win, Chicago took a commanding 3-1 series lead. Although the Suns would stay alive by taking Game 5, the Bulls clinched the series and their first three-peat in Game 6 with sharpshooter John Paxson hitting the championship-winner.

As for 'softening up' Barkley, that did not happen. Sir Charles went on to have a big Game 4 himself as he posted a 30-point triple-double with 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists in 46 minutes of action. Sir Charles put up a 24-6-6 stat line in Game 5 and would have a huge 21-point and 17 rebounds double-double in the closeout Game 6.

Before Paxson's shot, the Suns were up 98-96, and if in an alternate universe, he missed that three-pointer, Phoenix would have likely extended the series to winner-take-all Game 7, where the Suns would have home-court advantage.