Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley got smart financial advice over a Nike deal from Michael Jordan during the 90s. Brian Snyder/Reuters

Six-time NBA champion and basketball icon, Michael Jordan, handed smart financial advice to fellow star and close friend, Charles Barkley, during their playing days.

When Barkley signed with Nike in 1992, his deal with the footwear and apparel brand was initially worth around $3 million. This led to Jordan stepping in to tell his US Olympic teammate to renegotiate the terms of the contract after he took a look at the initial terms.

Last year, Barkley explained how the matter played out on his podcast, The Steam Room, which he co-hosts with Ernie Johnson, saying: "Michael gave me some great advice. He says ' Tell Nike you want a million, and you want the rest in stock options', I said I will run it by my guys, let's do it."

The 11-time NBA All-Star went on to mention the benefits of the renegotiated terms he signed onto thanks to Jordan's advice. He said: "I actually made probably 10 times the amount of money (than if he had he stuck to the original terms of his deal). And I'm still with Nike to this day."

At that time, Jordan had experience in negotiating with big brand deals as he previously joined Nike in his rookie career in the NBA in 1984. Jordan turned down deals with the more popular brands at that time such as Adidas and Converse.

Despite being an admirer of Adidas, Jordan chose to sign with Nike as the brand were willing to offer him large input over a signature shoe and hand him a percentage of the profits from each pair sold. The five-year deal worth $2.5 million that Jordan signed in 1984 was three times more lucrative than any other deal in the NBA at the time.

Jordan's decision paid off as his signature Nike shoe, the Air Jordan, immediately took off and transcended basketball as it became a cultural phenomenon around the whole world.

Barkley and Jordan's exchanges over the former's Nike deal was at a time when both shared a close bond with one another. The two of them entered the league together through the 1984 NBA draft, with Barkley being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers and Jordan being selected by the Chicago Bulls.

The pair then fell out after their playing careers and are no longer on speaking terms as Barkley criticised Jordan's running of the Charlotte Bobcats (now Charlotte Hornets) in 2012. Jordan became a minority owner of the franchise in 2006 and gained majority ownership in 2010 before selling the majority stake last year and retaining a minority stake.

Barkley accused Jordan of having too many familiar faces around him when overseeing the running of the Bobcats at that time and that there was nobody to be honest and disagree with the former Chicago Bulls star. Barkley's comments came when Charlotte had the NBA's worst record at 4-29 during the 2011/2012 season.

Despite the destruction of the pair's close friendship, they both have made an impact since retiring and have endured much success. Air Jordan continues to be of high demand across various generations and earns Jordan hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

The Air Jordan brand has gone to new heights in recent years thanks to much talked about partnerships with Dior and Off-White, as well as frequent collaborations with hip-hop superstar, Travis Scott.

Barkley is a regular analyst for domestic coverage of the NBA, appearing on Inside the NBA on TNT, alongside his co-host from The Steam Room, Earnie, and former NBA players Shaquille O'Neal and Kenny Smith. The Emmy-Award winning show is popular amongst NBA fans due to the impressive chemistry among the analysts as well as the in-depth analysis provided.

Barkly first appeared on Inside the NBA shortly after retiring from playing in 2000 and signed a new 10-year contract in 2022 to remain on the show.