“I would just hit him as hard as I could”

In the 1990s, Charles Barkley was one of the many NBA stars attempting to defeat Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. The Hall of Famer forward even had his own game plan to take down one of Chicago’s most important X-Factors.

While he was a wild card off the court, Rodman played a pivotal role in the Bulls’ second three-peat in the ’90s. His areas of focus were defense and rebounding, making him the perfect complement to Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.

Because they played the same position, Charles Barkley and Dennis Rodman often competed against each other. During an interview, former MVP Michael Jordan said what he would do to stop Rodman from playing.

To frustrate Rodman, Barkley lashed out during games.

“I would just hit him as hard as possible early in the game and he would leave you alone,” Barkley said. “Michael used to ask us, ‘Why do you keep doing this?’ Because he stops teasing and annoying you as soon as you stop him.”

Charles Barkley and Dennis Rodman always got physical

Every time Charles Barkley and Dennis Rodman faced each other, things got hot. Both were physical players who never wanted to give an inch.

In addition to their aggressive play, Barkley and Rodman also enjoyed playing mind games. This was shown in full in 1996 during a matchup between the Phoenix Suns and the Chicago Bulls.

Throughout the game, Barkley and Rodman did everything they could to upset each other. In this case, it was the Bulls forward who prevailed.

After tricking Barkley into committing a charge foul at the post, Rodman shot up off the ground and did some showboating for the crowd. Barkley didn’t like that and tried to get revenge on the other end of the floor. He gave Rodman a few elbows back, but the refs caught him and called for a foul.

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In the end, it was Barkley and the Suns who had the last laughs that night. Thanks to a 35-point, 16-rebound performance from the star forward, Phoenix walked away with a 10-point win over MJ and Co.

Little did they know at the time, but Barkley and the Suns put on an impressive performance that night. Phoenix was one of 10 teams that gave the Bulls a loss that year as they went 72-10 in the regular season. That was a record that stood for some time before being broken by the Golden State Warriors in 2015-16.

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Edited by Kevin McCormick


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