When Charles Oakley was playing in the NBA he was always known as a tough, hard-nosed, no-nonsense player that did whatever it took for his team to get a win. He was known as Michael Jordan’s bodyguard and players never talked back to Oakley because if they did, Oakley made sure to get the final word. He was the kind of player that people loved if he was on their team, but he was also the guy that opposing teams loved to hate. His hard-nosed style made him the player that he was and nothing has changed with Oak. He still carries his tough demeanor with him and even in this radio interview you can tell that Oakley is still a no-nonsense kind of guy.
Charles Oakley joined WQAM in Miami with Sid Rosenberg to talk about what he has to say to the people that are upset with him about his comments towards the Knicks, whether or not he ever told LeBron not to go to New York in free agency, whether or not he likes Isiah Thomas, and what current players in the NBA he likes to watch.
On people in New York being mad at him for his comments about the Knicks:
“You know what? If they’re mad at me then they can be mad at me. I’m not going to apologize. I’m a grown man, I do grown things, they know how I roll, I’m gonna keep rolling the way I roll, they know me, I speak the truth, I’m about the truth, and I’m not a bullshitter. If they’re mad at me, they can stay mad at me. I’m not going to apologize if they’re mad at me because I didn’t make the decision for LeBron. Lebron made his own decision. He’s a grown man and I’m a grown man. I respect his decision. There’s a lot of ex-players that are hating on him but when you get a chance to be in one place for eight years and you’re not winning, hey I’m gonna go out to if I’m a superstar and got a chance. He didn’t ask to be traded and his contract was up so he had the freedom to do what he wanted to do.”
But you never told LeBron that:
“My thing is, I’ll be real with people and if you’re a sports guy and ask me something, know what you’re talking about when you’re talking with me because I’m gonna expose you because I’m not a bullshitter. I know what I’m talking about. If somebody told you something and you take it and run with it you don’t know facts. If you don’t know facts you shouldn’t even interview me because I’m gonna expose you because its bullshit. It is what it is.”
On whether or not he likes Isaiah Thomas:
“I have nothing against Isaiah but he made a lot of comments about the Knicks in the old days. He’s a great player, just like (Charles) Barkley’s a great player, but he’s an asshole. My thing is, when Barkley played basketball, he didn’t practice, he wasn’t a leader, he wasn’t this or that, he just had natural talent so he got chosen to the Dream Team, All Star team because he had the talent and he was the franchise player on the team. 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 the guys speak out who are real to the game. He talks like a player and I will give him that, but for him to comment about this and being a professional, he wasn’t all that.”
On what current player in the NBA he lies to watch:
“I like (Amar’e) Stoudemire’s game because he’s no-nonsense and he’s a real power forward. He brings that energy. He’s not a great rebounder but he does his job. He performs when he goes on the court. Couple young guys coming up I like. I like (Derrick) Rose, I like (Russell) Westbrook, (Blake) Griffin I thought he was a little soft but he’s showing me a little different. He’s doing a little dunking, but I’m gonna see what he does next year. It’s like (Kevin) Durant. People see last year where he averaged 30 points and now they’re pushing him farther out and making him take tougher shots. People adjust. Good teams are gonna adjust. There’s some guys out there that I like, but my thing is when you got 30 teams there should be a lot guys you like and that’s how bad it is.”