MONEY millennial

8 Gen X Favorites That Millennials Scorn

Millennials will probably never understand why Gen X, or anyone, was once so enamored of U2, Gap, and these six other things.

Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that — no matter what Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys wore 25 years ago — Adidas is not cool, with sales faring especially poorly among young people. It’s not easy for any generation to accept that the zeitgeist has left it behind. (The Boomers still haven’t.) But with the oldest Gen Xers having reached 50 and the youngest well into their 30s, that conclusion looks unavoidable. Here are eight other things that Gen X loved, but that millennials just don’t seem to care about.


  • Saab

    1989 SAAB 900i
    Bob Masters Classic Car Images—Alamy 1989 SAAB 900i

    Oddly shaped, with a pathetic engine and the ignition inexplicably located on the floor: The Financial Times described Swedish automaker Saab as “the anti-brand brand.” Could it be any wonder that Generation X loved them? Saab sales climbed steadily throughout the early 1980s and, after a drop off in 1986, rebounded through much of the 1990s. The car took a star turn in such slacker classics as High Fidelity and Sideways. But as the FT concluded, “the commercial drawback of being an ‘anti-brand brand,’ of course, is that many people drive Saabs precisely because other people don’t.”

    Saab sales hit a wall in first part of the last decade, in part because GM, which acquired the brand in 2000, watered down the car’s distinctive flavor in an effort to expand its appeal. Saab essentially stopped production in 2011. Millennials, lukewarm on cars to start with, don’t seem to notice what they are missing, at least according to

  • Michel Foucault

    French philosopher Michel Foucault
    AFP—Getty Images French philosopher Michel Foucault

    If you went to college in the 1980s or 1990s, chances are you smugly obsessed about (or just as smugly avoided) abstract yet strident discussions of the way language shaped our perception of the world around us. It was kind of like “checking your privilege” through abstruse academic jargon. If “the theory wars” no longer rage, maybe it’s because there is no one left to fight them. In 2010, just 7% of college students majored in the humanities, down about half since the late 1960s. Yale, which graduated 165 English majors in 1991, had just 62 in 2012. So what exactly do college students get overwrought about these days? Apparently, it’s who’s going to get that internship at Facebook.

  • Gap

    1990s UK Gap Magazine Advertisement with Miles Davis
    The Advertising Archives 1990s UK Gap Magazine Advertisement with Miles Davis

    It now seems strange that a mall store known basically for T-shirts, khakis and other basics became a fashion icon. But it just kind of happened. Here is writer Lucinda Rosenfeld’s take in Slate: “It’s hard to overstate the importance of black pants to young women in the early 1990s. Once you found a pair that fit perfectly — and maybe a good square-toe black ankle-boot to match — half the work of assembling a sleek, confidence-building wardrobe was done.” She goes on to explain that, while her favorite pair cost “a week’s salary” back in the day, her second favorite pair, which she wore three days a week, came from Gap. How did Gap — or The Gap as we used to call it — lose its lucrative role as the workhorse of 20-somethings’ closets? Perhaps anti-fashion could only be in fashion for so long. And the company has faced plenty of low-cost competition from chains like H&M and Uniqlo.

  • U2

    U2 Fans
    Daily Mail—Alamy

    How long is any rock band’s shelf life? U2 managed to remain cool longer than most — from at least the early 1980s through the 1990s and into the oughts. They even made Christian rock seem cool. But the jig was finally up last year when Apple’s decision to gift U2’s new album to iTunes users sparked a backlash. One obvious explanation is age — Bono is past 50. Another is the decline of guitar-oriented pop. But don’t overlook changes to the brand of U2’s homeland. Once associated with post-industrial poverty and violence, the Irish Republic traded its troubled but defiant image for computer chip factories and real estate speculation. Maybe U2’s social justice street cred went into the bargain.

  • Cameron Crowe

    SINGLES, Bridget Fonda, Matt Dillon, Kyra Sedgwick, Campbell Scott, 1992.
    Warner Bros—Courtesy Everett Collection SINGLES, Bridget Fonda, Matt Dillon, Kyra Sedgwick, Campbell Scott, 1992.

    The New York Times called Cameron Crowe “something of a cinematic spokesman for the post-baby boom generation” in 1992. At the time Crowe had Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Say Anything already under his belt, and was just getting ready to release Singles. (If you haven’t seen it, let’s just say it’s aged far better than Reality Bites.) The former Rolling Stone writer later hit box office gold with Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous, which deliciously skewered Boomer narcissism from a vantage that’s somehow both younger and less credulous. Since then, however, Crowe has failed to match his ’80s and ’90s success. Elizabethtown, which inspired the mocking “manic pixie dream girl” trope, was widely seen as a disappointment. In 2011, Crowe managed something of come-back with We Bought a Zoo. The film, which earned about $75 million at the box office, was better than the title makes it sound. But it’s hardly going to inspire any garage bands.

  • Sony Walkman

    ca. 1991 Sony Walkman cassette player
    Dorling Kindersley—Corbis ca. 1991 Sony Walkman cassette player

    Just like millennials, Gen Xers put on their headphones on and tuned out the world. There were differences. Unlike today, fancy gadgets were never white but black or silver. (A notable exception was the youthful, yellow “Sports” model that made a cameo appearance in Hot Tub Time Machine.) And there were a lot more buttons, partly because music players came with a radio and partly because in an analogue world, more rather than less signaled connoisseurship. But there were similarities too: Gen X’s technological marvels were also conceived in a far off place whose special culture fostered unique capitalistic virtues that our betters admonished us to learn from and imitate. It just happened to be Japan rather than California.

    Sony managed to transverse the mid-1980s move from cassette tapes to CDs, with the Discman. It wasn’t as if digital music caught the company blind sided. Sony introduced something known as the “memory stick Walkman” in 1999, more than two years before the iPod appeared. But Sony’s reluctance to embrace the MP3 format and its struggles integrating hardware and software proved to be just the opening Apple needed.

  • NBC

    FRIENDS with Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox Arquette, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow and Matthew Perry, (Season 1), 1994-2004.
    Warner Bros—Courtesy Everett Collection FRIENDS with Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox Arquette, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow and Matthew Perry, (Season 1), 1994-2004.

    Young people tend to identify themselves more with music than with television, especially network television. But few would argue that in the 1990s NBC was the envy of its competitors. Jerry Seinfeld is a boomer. But Seinfeld’s quartet of ne’er do-wells, whose humor mostly involved aimless complaining, fit right in with Gen X’s celebrated ambivalence. As for Friends, well, Generation X may now be faintly embarrassed that they watched. But watch they did. The show was a top 10 series for its entire run, averaging 20 million viewers, according to Slate. It’s finale garnered more than 50 million. Since then NBC has had hits — even with millennials — like The Office and 30 Rock. But the rise of cheap-to-produce reality television, new competition from cable channels like HBO, and, of course, the Internet, mean networks just don’t enjoy the same cultural relevance or profits that they used to.

  • Major League Baseball

    Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa (L), shares a laugh with St. Louis Cardinals' first baseman Mark McGwire (R), after receiving a walk in the third inning. McGwire stayed at 63 home runs and Sosa stayed at 62 as neither had a home run in the 3-2 Chicago victory.
    Peter Newcomb—AFP/Getty Images Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa (L), shares a laugh with St. Louis Cardinals' first baseman Mark McGwire (R), after receiving a walk in the third inning. McGwire stayed at 63 home runs and Sosa stayed at 62 as neither had a home run in the 3-2 Chicago victory.

    The 1990s was a golden age for baseball. Or so it seemed in 1998 when Mark McGwire’s and Sammy Sosa’s race to surpass the home run record riveted fans. The long ball helped (along with a fashion for building new, smaller “bandbox” ball parks) to boost attendance and television ratings, making baseball seem secure in its role as the national past time, even in era of Michael Jordan. Today, the sport is still trying to cope with the fall out of what we now call The Steroids Era. Average attendance, which climbed from about 25,000 following the strike-shortened 1994 season to roughly 30,000 by end of the decade, has been more or less stuck there ever since. This year’s gambit — a clock to speed up the pace of play — is apparently designed to appeal to millennials. But many of them seem more excited about soccer.

TIME Mental Health/Psychology

You Asked: How Many Friends Do I Need?

You Asked: How Many Friends Do I Need?
Illustration by Peter Oumanski for TIME

Maybe just a handful, though quality trumps quantity.

Friends do your health so many favors. They protect your health as much as quitting smoking and a great deal more than exercising, according to a large 2010 review in the journal PLOS One. More research has shown that socially isolated people are more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those with a solid social circle.

“Strong social relationships support mental health, and that ties into better immune function, reduced stress and less cardiovascular activation,” says Dr. Debra Umberson, a sociologist at the University of Texas, Austin. Umberson says emotional support is just one of a dozen ways friends may safeguard your health and extend your life.

MORE Here’s How Hugs Can Prevent the Flu

Unfortunately, though, many of us don’t have enough of them. According to data from the General Social Survey (GSS), the number of Americans who say they have no close friends has roughly tripled in recent decades. “Zero” is also the most common response when people are asked how many confidants they have, the GSS data show. And adult men seem to be especially bad at keeping and cultivating friendships.

That may seem strange in the era of Facebook, Twitter and boundless digital connectivity. But the “friends” orbiting at the farthest reaches of your digital galaxy aren’t the ones that matter when it comes to your health and happiness.

The vital friendships—the pals you hug and laugh and lament with—are the ones who have the greatest impact on your health and happiness. You need between three and five of them for optimal wellbeing, suggests research from Dr. Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Oxford.

Dunbar’s name comes up a lot when you start digging into the subject of friendship. From his early work studying the brains and social circles of primates, he recognized that the size of a human’s social network might be limited by the size of a certain part of the human brain called the neocortex, a critical site for higher brain functions. After some complicated study, he came up with a figure now known as “Dunbar’s number.”

That number—usually cited as 150, but actually a range between 100 and 200—is the approximate size of a person’s social circle, or the perpetually changing group of friends and family members that you would invite to a large party. While you may have far fewer than 150 of these people in your life, your brain really can’t hold a close connection with more than 150, Dunbar’s research shows. Within that group, he says your closest 15 relationships—including family members or “kin”—seem to be most crucial when it comes to your mental and physical health.

But that’s not to say a brother or sister offers you the same benefits as a close friend, Dunbar says. While your kin are more likely to be there for you when you need help, your good friends tend to fire up your nervous system and trigger the release of feel-good neuropeptides called endorphins. Whether you’re laughing with your pal or feeling him or her touch your shoulder in sympathy, the resulting rush of endorphins seems to “tune” up your immune system, protecting you from disease, Dunbar explains.

So yes, for the sake of your health, you need friends—ideally the really close kind you see face-to-face on a regular basis. But even one very good friend can improve your life in profound ways, says Dr. Mark Vernon, a philosopher, psychotherapist and author of The Meaning of Friendship.

Despite their value in terms of your health and wellbeing, don’t think of them as your personal social doctors. Vernon warns against turning your friends into what he calls “service providers”—that’s not what friendship should be about, he says, even if your pals are good for you.

In the end, Vernon says Ralph Waldo Emerson may have offered the best advice when it comes to making and keeping close pals: “The only way to have a friend is to be one.”

Read next: 5 Types of Friends That Everyone Has

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MONEY Advertising

The Sneaky Way Cable Networks Are Making You Watch More Commercials

bored man watching TV
John Howard—Getty Images

You're not just imagining it: Networks are speeding up shows and movies to pack in more commercials.

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I’ve increasingly felt that I’m watching more commercials than I did a mere decade before. And that’s not because I’m watching more TV — if anything, I’m watching less live television as streaming video and outside interests take more of my free time. Instead, it feels like the average live TV show has more commercials. Perhaps you’ve felt that way, too.

Of course, on the surface this sounds downright silly. The average running time of a sitcom hasn’t substantively changed in the last decade or so — with the average one-hour broadcast drama running time clocking in at roughly 42 minutes in 2005, close to its current length — after dropping from 48 minutes in the ’80s. In addition, many shows on cable TV are reruns of fan favorites that were filmed over a decade ago, so it would be difficult to substantively edit the material for commercial purposes.

But according to the The Wall Street Journal, if you’re watching cable reruns of Seinfeld and Friends you may notice the comedic timing differs from what you’re used to. So, if you think the Soup Nazi is telling George, “No soup for you” a tad faster than normal, you’re right: Networks are speeding up shows and movies to pack in more commercials.

You’d think more ads equals more money… but not really

Cable networks are facing a crisis of sorts: As more individuals choose to cut the cord, cable needs to air more ads to fulfill audience guarantees made to advertisers. If you think of television as a commercial delivery model, falling audience members need to be offset by rising per-audience ad costs or to increase the “unit load” (read: number of commercials) to reward shareholders. If neither happens, then shareholders will experience declining ad-based revenues.

For network shareholders, this is more bad news when it comes to the ad-based business. As advertising dollars follow eyeballs, marketers are now shifting ad dollars to digital with media research firm Magna expecting television ad revenue to drop 1.4% this year. Considering ad dollars are flowing away from television, the first option of charging more for ads is out of the question for networks.

So far, the response to competing for ad based dollars consists of speeding up programming to get the real content: ads. The journal specifically mentions Time Warner’s TIME WARNER INC. TWX -0.48% TBS and Viacom’s VIACOM INC. VIAB 0.5% TV Land as culprits of show tampering. And although the WSJ doesn’t address the speed of commercials, it’s safe to assume they are still regular speed.

Advertisers, shareholders, or viewers, pick two … or none

On the surface you’d think this practice would please two stakeholders (advertisers and shareholders) at the expense of viewers, but you’d be wrong. Advertising firm Omnicom Media’s [time=stock symbol=OMC] president, Chris Geraci, was quoted as saying, “They are trying to deal with a problem in a way that is making the problem bigger.” For advertisers, the fear of ad saturation reducing the effectiveness of each individual ad is a legitimate concern.

For shareholders, this is a very myopic policy that will probably alienate current viewers. Recently, Nielsen found that millennials are ditching traditional TV at a “shocking” rate. Forcing a product of decreasing quality on viewers will result in further shifts away from the format altogether. And that’s not good for advertisers, shareholders, or the remaining viewers left to pay higher affiliate fees for Chipmunk-like programming.

As for my earlier conspiracy-theorist paranoia, I’ll leave you with a quote from Catch-22 author Joseph Heller: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”

TIME celebrities

See Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss on the Cover of Vogue

Mikael Jansson—Vogue Karlie Kloss and Taylor Swift on the March 2015 cover of Vogue

Plus a BFF photo-shoot

Not all best friends get to pose together on the cover of Vogue — but Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss aren’t like normal best friends.

Their Vogue photo shoot is full of painfully beautiful images of the most aspirational type of female friendship: cuddling in the sunlight, baking cookies and strumming on a guitar, taking selfies in a convertible, all wearing impossibly gorgeous couture.

“People had been telling us for years that we needed to meet,” Swift tells Vogue. “I remember makeup artists and hair people going, ‘God, she and Karlie would be best friends.”

Once they were introduced by model Lily Aldridge, the chemistry was instant. “We were just like, ‘You. My friend. Now,'” Swift says.

So what are they doing for Galentine’s Day?

TIME Television

This Is When Jennifer Aniston Thinks the Friends Reunion Should Happen

Jennifer Aniston
Jordan Strauss—Invision/AP Jennifer Aniston arrives at the 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Los Angeles

Don't hold your breath

Jennifer Aniston has repeated her idea for a Friends reunion to take place, well, not any time soon.

“Why not wait ’til we’re really, really old and then put us up there?” Aniston told E! News Wednesday. “That would be more interesting.”

Aniston, who starred as Rachel in the hit television sitcom, said an elderly Friends reunion would answer the lasting questions like, “Is Joey Doughy Joey? Is Ross bald?”

The idea of an aging get-together has been forming in Aniston’s mind for some time. In November last year, she jokingly told British talk show host Graham Norton that it could be called Dead Friends. When Norton replied that the show could then consist of “a series of funerals,” Aniston said: “Then we’ll know that there’s no reunion to have.”

But even as she receives critical acclaim for her role in the film Cake, set to release on Friday, the star is grateful for her time on Friends.

“It was the greatest time in my life. And that was such a great group of people, and we love each other and it’s the gift that keeps on giving,” she said.

Earlier in January, co-star Matthew Perry (Chandler) said there were no serious talks about a reunion.

TIME Culture

4 Things I Learned from a Friends Marathon on Netflix

The cast of Friends. From left: David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow and Matt Leblanc.
Getty Images The cast of Friends. From left: David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow and Matt Leblanc. is where women go to be their unabashed selves, and where their unabashed selves are applauded

In two days I watched 24 episodes of the '90s show and realized it taught me a lot about love and relationships

When I was 18, my parents put together an incredible graduation party for me. I was an emotional wreck, with tears streaming down my face as I moved throughout the building, hugging everyone I encountered. After I waded through the emotions, I noticed the small details my parents snuck in without my knowledge. The moment I saw Friends, my favorite television show, playing on a TV in the corner of the room — I felt a lump rise up in my throat.

As a kid, I was too little to understand Chandler’s sarcasm, Joey’s promiscuous behavior, or Phoebe’s complicated upbringing, but these factors didn’t stop me from picking from my assortment of Friends DVDs to watch with my babysitters every weekend. I was a huge fan. I knew every episode. My parents gave me a black baguetteFriends purse when I was 10, and then I set “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts as the ring-back tone on my first cell phone. Friends introduced me to love and friendship, and motivated me to be responsible once I grew up (Rachel Green’s spending habits and struggle to find a career served as lessons).

So the moment I found out Netflix released every season of Friends on January 1, I knew I had it in me to complete my favorite Friends season (the first) within a few days of the holiday break. Leaving Carroll, Iowa (my hometown with a population 1/160th of my current home in Manhattan), to intern for an online magazine (xoJane, hello!) and experience city life on my own for the first time, I have had plenty of time to indulge. So there I sat, curled up on a hazelnut-colored, squishy sofa, surrounded by Christmas lights, sipping on orange juice as the theme song bounced off the faded brick walls. In two days, I rewatched 24 episodes full of gut-wrenching laughter and classic quotes that I could still recite from memory:

“Ross, you got married when you were what – eight?”

“Dear, God! This parachute is a knapsack!”

“Oh, why not? Was I doing anything particularly . . . saucy?”

“Welcome to the real world! It sucks! You’re going to love it!”

“So he’s calling from Rome. I can call from Rome. All I have to do is go to Rome.”

Not only did rewatching these specific shows unexpectedly conjure up nostalgia, but I realized I grew up believing that every friendship I would have should somehow resemble the relationships portrayed on the show. (I would find my “Ross,” have a caretaker best friend like Monica, and a side-kick who could make me laugh constantly like Joey.)

Although some aspects of Friends are not true to my life living in the Midwest (pint-size apartments and spending every waking hour with the same group of people, etc.), the show taught me some valuable life lessons. Here’s what I learned from my marathon:

“I’ll Be There for You” is what friendship should be about.

Friends educated me on the importance of support systems and unconditional love. For example, when Ross faced a divorce at the beginning of the series, Joey and Chandler helped him settle into his new home and invited him out to clear his head. When I first started college, I was lucky enough to meet a group of girls who, despite their very different personalities, were there for each other. Whenever someone was upset, we came together immediately, for late-night baking or laying in a swarm of blankets watching movies.

Time and separation can be irrelevant in relationships.

When Rachel rushed into Central Perk after leaving her husband at the altar, Monica offered her a place to stay even though they hadn’t spoken in years. I met my best friend when I was three years old at dance practice, and to this day, she is one of the only people I know who can instantly calm me down if I’m upset.

We parted ways after high school — she attended a state school four hours away, while I decided to go to a private school close to home. She was always the Monica to my Rachel, and I know our friendship will always be something I hold dear to my heart. This television show made me realize that true, genuine friendship is possible — and you can meet those friends anywhere.

Choosing the right career path isn’t always clear and easy.

While Chandler struggled with deciding whether or not he wanted to move up in his job or start over with an internship is similar to what a lot of people face when they want to do something they love. My freshman year, I considered starting over at a state school instead of continuing at my relatively tiny college. After realizing I would be crazy to leave a school that held all of my new friends and offered more supportive environments with smaller class sizes, I made the decision to stay. Just like Chandler, I labeled my school as a “temporary” school that I would likely leave at the end of my freshman year. But also like Chandler, I realized that if I wanted the best for myself, I would stay where I was at and let myself grow.

You are the only one who knows what’s best for yourself.

Throughout season one of Friends, Monica looked for approval from her friends about her love life, cooking, and other issues; as a high-schooler, I also requested my friends’ permission for practically every decision in my life. (I think I’m going to try out for track! That’s okay, right? Is it weird if I join cheerleading? What do you think of him? I have this new friend, __; she’s nice, isn’t she?) Post high school, I realized that the only form of acceptance I should’ve searched for was whether or not I truly wanted this for myself. Monica and I shared the same insecurities, making sure everyone agreed with our decisions, but we both realized that we knew best. Your friends are there to help guide you — not decide what you will and will not do at the end of the day.

As episode 24 flashed on the screen, I realized that these fictional characters had taught me a lot. So sorry real-life friends, because I’ve got a date with six other friends that could last about nine more seasons for now.

Kiley Wellendorf is a student at Buena Vista University. This article originally appeared on

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email

TIME Research

What Your Online Persona Says About Who You Really Are

Getty Images

Does who you are online match who you are in real life? A new study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin shows that avatars, the little icons you can customize in video games and Internet forums, are pretty good depictions of the people who created them.

Since more and more people meet and develop friendships and relationships online, researchers at York University in Toronto looked into whether the impressions people get from avatars, like the kind you use on Nintendo Wii and World of Warcraft, are true reflections of the real-life players they’re interacting with. To measure this, the researchers had about 1oo people create an avatar representation of themselves, and then asked nearly 200 others to rate the avatars on openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

The results show that traits like being outgoing or anxious are pretty easy to assess, but other traits like conscientiousness and openness to new experiences are more difficult. People with agreeable traits were better able to get their personalities across through their avatars than narcissists.

Katrina FongExample of avatars used in the study

Specific physical traits of the online characters helped translate personalities more than others. Smiles, brown hair, sweaters and open eyes were more likely to come across as friendly and inviting, compared to avatars with neutral expressions or those that didn’t smile. Avatars with black hair, a hat, short hair or sunglasses were less likely to come across as friendly or desiring friendship.

Interestingly, the people in the study didn’t seem to apply usual gender stereotypes to the avatars, though avatars made by females were rated as more open and contentious over all. The researchers speculate that perhaps the digital realm has gender stereotypes that differ from the ones we more commonly experience offline.

“The findings from this study suggest that we can use virtual proxies such as avatars to accurately infer personality information about others,” the study authors conclude. “The impressions we make on others online may have an important impact on our real life, such as who becomes intrigued by the possibility of our friendship.”


Here’s Why Michael Jordan Is No Longer Friends with Charles Barkley

Michael Jordan;Charles Barkley
Sylvain Gaboury—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images (L-R) Basketball players Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley at Great Sports Legend Dinner on 26 Sept., 2000.

It has to do with their respective post-retirement careers

They were competitors, teammates, friends, and even Space Jam co-stars in the 1990s, but former NBA superstars Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley no longer see eye-to-eye. And Barkley revealed the reasons behind their fallout in a TV interview on Wednesday, USA Today reported.

“I think [Jordan] was offended by some things I said about him on television,” said Barkley, who is now an NBA analyst for TNT while Jordan is owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets.

“I said Michael wasn’t doing a good job — he’s doing a great job now, [the Hornets have] gotten better…but they weren’t doing good.”

Barkley went on to explain that Jordan didn’t understand that it isn’t possible to have double standards in the media for people you like or dislike. “Your job is to be an analyst. It’s not to protect your friends…no, he’s not feeling that,” he said.

[USA Today]

TIME Television

8 Actors Who Got Their Start on Friends

From Paul Rudd to Jon Favreau and Aisha Tyler

  • Jon Favreau

    NBC/Getty Images

    After Swingers but before he directed films like Elf, Chef and Iron Man, Jon Favreau played Monica’s super-rich husband who wants to become an Ultimate Fighting Champion.

  • Aisha Tyler

    NBC/Getty Images

    Aisha Tyler played Charlie, the paleontologist who dates both Joey and Ross. But neither proves smart enough for her: She prefers Nobel prize winners. After Friends, Tyler went on to star in 24 and now voices Lana Kane on Archer.

  • Paul Rudd

    NBC/Getty Images

    Sure, Monica and Chandler were a great couple, and the will-they-or-won’t-they drama of Ross and Rachel was endlessly entertaining. But the best pairing on the show was Phoebe and Mike, played by an utterly lovable Paul Rudd. Rudd has had perhaps the most successful career of the Friends vets: Anchorman premiered the same year that Friends wrapped, and the comedian quickly shot to superstardom with The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Role Models and I Love You, Man.

  • Cole Sprouse

    Friends Television Stills
    NBC/Getty Images

    You know that kid who played Ross’ son (that he barely ever saw) Ben? He went on to star as Cody in the Disney Channel’s The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.

  • Michael Rapaport

    NBC/Getty Images

    Before his roles in The 6th Day, Hitch and The Heat, Michael Rapaport was Pheobe’s cop boyfriend, who she had to break up with after he shot a bird.

  • Rebecca Romijn

    NBC/Getty Images

    Before she was Mystique in the X-Men movies, Rebeca Romijn baffled the Friends by dating Ross despite being super hot. (Though too be fair, the Rachel-Ross combination never really made sense either.) But Ross ultimately breaks up with the girl because her apartment is filthy and has rodents living in it.

  • Steve Zahn

    Friends - Season 2
    NBC/Getty Images

    Best known for roles in Sahara and Dallas Buyers Club, Zahn first played Phoebe’s gay ex-husband and ice dancer in an early episode of Friends.

  • Tate Donovan

    NBC/Getty Images

    In the 1990s, Tate Donovan was probably best known as Jennifer Anniston’s real-life boyfriend. They played an onscreen couple too: Rachel goes to great lengths, even donning her old cheerleading outfit from high school, to win the affection of Joshua. Donovan went on to stints on The O.C. as Jimmy Cooper, Damages as Tom Shayes and 24: Live Another Day as Mark Boudreau as well as roles in films like Good Night, and Good Luck and Argo.

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