With the New York Knicks ferociously underachieving this season after having spent the off-season throwing money at the likes of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, the biggest headlines came off the court courtesy of a feud between team owner James Dolan and much-lived alumnus Charles Oakley, who spent a decade in the trenches for New York as a power forward/enforcer. And while NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (with a conference call assist from Oakley BFF Michael Jordan) was able to broker a peace after Dolan had the ex-Knick escorted out and banned from Madison Square Garden (it’s been lifted although the Cleveland native is still seeking a public apology), Oakley’s outspokenness has proven to be at as high a level as the tenacious defense he practiced as a player.
The following are some of the man’s memorable moments and quotes.
King James Leaving The Cleveland Cavaliers During The Decision
When Lebron James (above) was an unrestricted free agent in 2010, a number of teams vied for his services, including the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Miami Heat and James’ hometown Cavs. For Oak, he disabused his fellow Cleveland native of the idea of hanging a shingle in the Big Apple. “I can’t tell him to go to New York. New York treated me bad… When I go to the Knicks games, do you know that they have somebody that follows me around to see what I say to the press?”
Tell Us What You Really Think About Charles Barkley
It’s no secret that Oakley and TNT analyst Charles Barkley (above)have a beef going back to late 1980s battles under the boards. Oak has commented quite a bit about Barkley’s current gig. “Him criticizing all those other guys, he did the same thing when he was young. As soon as they do something wrong, he criticizes them, that’s wrong. He wasn’t real to the game. Let guys speak out who are real to the game. He talks like a player and I give him that, but for him to comment about this and being a professional, he wasn’t all that.”
Handling Someone Welching On A Bet
Charles Oakley does not suffer fools or people trying to back out of losing a bet. Back in 2001 when Oakley was suiting up for the Toronto Raptors, he was owed $54,000 by Sixers forward Tyrone Hill (left), who he’d beaten at dice the prior summer. As both teams were prepping to place each other that season, Oak walked up during the 76ers shootaround and nailed Hill in the head with a basketball. No one ever found out if Hill paid, but Oak didn’t comment except to explain the fee was doubled. “Everything in life is double. If he didn’t pay me $108,000, he didn’t pay me.”