Charles Oakley: Unflinching Honesty and Homophobia

You know, Charles Barkley and Charles Oakley would make a great broadcasting team. Chuck could be bracingly honest and funny to boot, and Oak could just be brutally honest to the point of cruelty. Oakley's doing that for free now anyway.

⇥⇥In a freewheeling radio interview Friday morning, Oakley – who lives near (LeBron) James and socializes with him regularly – said James should play for the Chicago Bulls or the Miami Heat. He had nothing positive to say about the Knicks, his former team.⇥⇥

⇥⇥“I can’t tell him to come to New York, because New York treated me bad,’’ Oakley told Sid Rosenberg of WQAM in Miami, according to a ⇥transcript at⇥⇥

That wasn't nearly the end of Oakley's unflinching take on the NBA. He slammed the Knicks for being bad at basketball, and their fans for being dumb, because that's easy to do.
⇥⇥When Rosenberg joked about fans cringing at Oakley’s jump shot, Oakley turned it into a critique of the current Knicks.⇥⇥

⇥⇥“If they said ‘ooh-ahh’ about me, what about the guys they got shooting the ball now? I mean, they can’t even shoot now,’’ Oakley said. He added, “If they think they’re watching basketball now, they really don’t understand basketball.’’⇥⇥

Dwight Howard got caught in the crossfire.
⇥⇥“Dwight Howard is embarrassing Patrick, if you ask me,’’ Oakley said, adding: “They say he won’t listen. Dwight won’t listen. How can you not listen to Patrick Ewing?”
And then there was the tinge of homophobia and intolerance that probably assures that The Chuck and Oak Show will never exist.
⇥⇥There was much more, including a vaguely homophobic remark about Isiah Thomas, the former Knicks’ president, who now coaches at Florida International University. When Rosenberg mentioned that he had become friends with Thomas, Oakley remarked, “You ain’t gay, are you?’’ Oakley’s intended meaning was not clear. He added later, “If you see a man kiss me, I better be in my casket.”
So, in case you were wondering, Charles Oakley is doing just fine, and is still every bit the curmudgeonly character with retrograde views whose surliness was legendary during his NBA career. But, hey, he's on Twitter now!

(HT: Off the Dribble.)


This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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