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Charles Barkley is no stranger to the headlines, and now he’s catching attention for comparing Nick Saban to Michael Jordan on SirusXM. He spoke highly of Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin for his guts taking the job despite Alabama’s presence and brought up how overcoming Saban was like taking on Jordan — the ultimate challenge.
“I like our new coach. I like Coach Harsin a lot,” Barkley said. “He took a big chance and that tells me he’s got courage and conviction.”
He’s got a decent point. Harsin could’ve waited for an easier path to success. He could’ve even ended up as Clay Helton’s replacement at USC, but he decided to take the challenge instead.
“He took the hardest job in college sports, but to come to Alabama and go against Nick Saban, that tells me he wanted to test himself. We (Auburn) have to go against Michael Jordan (Nick Saban) every year and I look forward to that challenge.
Charles Barkley is no stranger to competition between his time at Auburn and in the NBA. This morning he shared his thoughts about @CoachHarsin and his @AuburnFootball squad as they tackle the SEC. Hear the full interview NOW with @DustyDvoracek & @dannykanell on the SXM App! pic.twitter.com/Zy2u98nta5
— College Sports on SiriusXM (@SXMCollege) September 16, 2021
Barkley is obviously impressed by Coach Harsin’s competitive edge, and he makes great points. However, it seems he’s speaking in general against today’s era of player and coach movement. Today’s generation often takes jobs or switches teams to clear their journey towards a successful career, and I’m willing to bet he believes he did the same during his basketball career.
Charles appeared in Netflix’s “Last Dance” documentary and said that Michael Jordan presented the greatest challenge of his career. He even mentioned that Jordan “was the first player I’d ever felt like I played my best and he outplayed me.” The 11-time All-Star ultimately stayed in Phoenix the next four seasons after Michael Jordan took down the Suns in six games.
No one understands taking a challenge head on like Barkley, so his comparison of Nick Saban and Michael Jordan is warranted. Clemson head coach Dabo Sweaney faced a similar challenge to overcome Saban’s dominance, and now Harsin will find out if he can replicate that success.
Bryan Harsin is now 2-0 in his Auburn career as they prepare to take on Penn State Sep. 18. We’ll see if he can overcome the MJ of college football.