The Hall of Famer called Friday's Ring of Honor event "a flat-out disgrace"
“I want to be very careful here, ‘cause you know, Chicago, I love that city,” Barkley, 60, said on Inside the NBA Monday. “What happened in Chicago the other night was a disgrace. It was a flat-out disgrace.”
During the ceremony, in which members of the 1995-1996 championship team were inducted into the franchise’s first Ring of Honor, some fans booed when late general manager Jerry Krause's name was called. Thelma Krause, the wife of the late Bulls general manager, was shown onscreen crying in response to the poor reception.
“Having his wife cry like that, that was wrong on so many levels,” Barkley said.
The Hall of Famer added, “What those fans did to Mrs. Krause, that was not cool, and everybody involved owes that lady an apology, whether you like Jerry Krause or not, that man’s dead, RIP. His wife, is there and y’all made that lady cry and that was total BS.”
Many fans hold Krause responsible for breaking up the team after their final championship during the 1997-1998 season — something chronicled in The Last Dance documentary about the Bulls dynasty.
While Barkley said the moment hurt his “heart, watching that thing,” he couldn’t understand why the historic ceremony happened without key members of the team, including Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman.
“Michael and Scottie and Dennis not showing up, that was wrong,” Barkley said.
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Barkley added: “It was a complete disgrace to the legacy of the Chicago Bulls. They’ve always been a great, great organization. But for that thing to go down like that, not have the greatest player in your organization there and won six championships.”
Ahead of Friday's event, the Bulls shared a video that Jordan recorded for the ceremony. "I want to thank Jerry Reinsdorf and Michael Reinsdorf for starting the Ring of Honor," the NBA legend, 60, said. "I want to congratulate all the other recipients. I am so bummed that I can't be there tonight, but I don't want that to stop the fun that you guys are going to have."
Jordan added, "I am very grateful and very honored. To the fans, you guys have supported me ever since I stepped foot in Chicago. And even today, I see a lot of Chicago fans all over. So I think we made an impression and changed what Chicago represents in terms of champions."
Additionally, in a statement shared by the Bulls, Rodman said he was not able to attend the ceremony due to the inclement weather. "I tried to come in, I wanted to really bad," the former athlete, 62, said. "I'm can't even talk, I'm getting emotional again."
"If I was Superman, I'd be there in about 10 minutes," Rodman continued.
As for the outspoken Barkley, he also had words about the ceremony itself. With his trademark humor — which caused co-host Shaquille O’Neal to stifle a laugh at the other end of the desk — he added: “First of all, I don’t even know why you’d put a 100 guys in the ring of honor anyways, that’s just stupid.”
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