Charles Oakley knows a thing or two about the NBA. The iconic big man played alongside some of the most gifted players in the league’s history and in front of some of basketball’s most passionate fans.
From the feud between Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen to The Last Dance and Steph Curry’s MVP candidacy, Oakley spoke candidly in an interview with Betway.
Once accomplices on the Bulls’ all-conquering team of the 1990s, tension has built between Pippen and Jordan in recent years, culminating in some explosive comments from Pippen in the aftermath of Netflix’s documentary.
As a friend of both Jordan and Pippen, few have better knowledge of the situation than Oakley.
In a recent interview with Betway Insider, he said, “Scottie felt like he was mistreated, and he didn’t look good. Scottie did some things that we talked about. I’m friends with Scottie and Mike, but I don’t talk about Mike to Scottie, or Scottie to Mike.
“I know everybody thinks it’s some feud from The Last Dance, I think it’s something else that happened. We don’t know, but one day we will find out. I don’t think Scottie would just turn from all this from The Last Dance. Some stuff happened 10, 20 years ago but now he’s got a platform to talk about it. But he did say he wants to have his last say about The Last Dance, so who knows what’s going on?
“Mike’s not going to feud in the press about what Scottie has to say, he’s not going to comment on it. Scottie feels like he’s got six rings, Michael’s got six rings…
“Scottie went through a lot as time passed, stress can put you in a different place. He said something about Phil Jackson. I think he apologised about that. But sometimes you get in the heat of battle, you know, and that’s why you’ve got to be careful when you do interviews and talk to people because they dig. They dig holes all the time, they dig up stuff about you and something you said, when this could be 30 years ago.”
Of course, Oakley featured in The Last Dance himself. While others had gripes about their portrayal in the series, the former Raptor had no complaints whatsoever.
“Everybody got to see a different side of Michael Jordan, if you didn’t see the Hall of Fame speech. In the speech he pointed out a lot of people who were waving their finger at him, so he got the last finger point. The Last Dance is the same thing, he got the last say. If you mention Michael Jordan, you can’t have the first say, you’d better have the last say.
“It was great. We got a chance to see the other side of some other guys. It was a documentary so it was put together like Michael Jordan always wants to look good, so a lot of guys felt like he let them down, but it’s like a movie, you know? If you ain’t the main actor you ain’t gonna be a big part of it. I didn’t have no bad feelings about what he said about me. He put me in The Last Dance, he put me in the Hall of Fame speech, he put me in Space Jam, so I’ll wait for the next show.”
Charles Oakley on the 2021-22 NBA season
While Oakley had plenty to say about the 90s, he wasn’t shy of expressing an opinion or two on the present.
Asked about the state of the MVP race, Oakley made it clear it’s down to two former teammates.
“Right now Curry’s running away with it. You know KD is gonna be always in the conversation because of his skill level, he’s so good of a player. Out West I don’t see nobody else. Everybody else is playing more team ball. You can see around the league how scoring is coming down. Everybody’s trying to get more efficiency. They’re trying to build now for later.”
While Oakley acknowledged the competitiveness of both conferences, there was only one team that stood out for him when asked which franchise he’d want to play for right now.
“Right now? I would want to play with Phoenix. I think all they needed was a tough big man last year, and they could have won a championship. If they had Bobby Portis in Phoenix, they would have beat Milwaukee. I love his game, and what he does. He can shoot the three, he can post, he can rebound, he’s athletic and he’s tough, and that’s what Phoenix needed, another veteran tough guy.”
Source: NBA lines site Betway
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