Former New York Knicks player Charles Oakley is quick to run his mouth negatively about players of today’s era not being able to play in his era. In addition, he’s still promoting his book “Oakley, the Last Enforcer” that dropped on Feb. 1, so he’s leaving no stone unturned.
The Virginia Union Panthers alum made a name for himself as an enforcer in Nasty ’90s, but he was nothing more than that. For a guy with career averages of 9.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game to question a two-time MVP who’s still in his prime is clownish. Oakley is considered a New York Knicks legend for his brute toughness and heart, but he couldn’t hold Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s jockstrap as a skilled hardwood warrior.
Charles Oakley did not hold back while discussing Giannis Antetokounmpo.
H/T No Pump Fakes Podcast pic.twitter.com/oxhty7Rma4
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) February 27, 2022
On an episode of Slam’s “No Pump Fakes” show, Oakley talked about the Greek Freak, but instead of praising the NBA champion, Oak’s comments were kind of condescending in the way he spewed them. He gave Giannis credit, but then said he wouldn’t have been a force in his era.
Charles Oakley calls Giannis “skinny” and people would knock his head off in the 90s….
— Ty Shute' (@TyShute331) February 27, 2022
“He doing his thing, man,” Oakley said. “I was skeptical because he couldn’t make a jump shot or a free throw. But after what he did last year, he won me over. … He wouldn’t have been a force back in the day. He would have struggled. They would make him shoot jump shots. He wouldn’t be doing no Euros to the basket and just get layups. Somebody gonna knock his head off.”
Oakley even went as far as to say Giannis would come off the bench in his era. This is the same Oakley who couldn’t guard Horace Grant, and that’s not an indictment on Grant, but he’s no Giannis.
Charles Oakley says Giannis Antetokounmpo would come off the bench in his era 😯
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) February 25, 2022
Isiah Thomas Stands Up For Giannis
Not all players from Oakley’s era believe what he said is true. Basketball Hall of Famer and NBA TV analyst Isiah Thomas was adamant this week during a segment on the network that Giannis would shred Oakley on the hardwood.
“He dunkin’ on them. He bigger, he faster, he stronger. You can talk all that stuff cause you don’t play no more,” Thomas insists. “You can talk all that stuff cause you got gray hair and you sitting on the sidelines, smoking cigars about what you used to do.
“That dude will dog you every single time y’all step on the court. You may play him hard. OK. Aight. After you hit him hard, you ain’t got no game. You ain’t got no game.”
Isiah Thomas laughed off Charles Oakley saying Giannis couldn't play in the 90s: 'He'd be dunking on all them' https://t.co/tWMAc0XRe8
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) March 1, 2022
Zeek is speaking truth about Giannis as it pertains to his skill set being good enough in any era. His size, strength, athleticism and upgraded basketball IQ can’t be denied.
He believes Giannis would be a star player in any era.
“All y’all stop it with the he wouldn’t dominate in the ’80s. We ain’t never seen no dude like this come into our league. And give him his props, give him his credit. He would dog anybody in the ’80s, ’90s and ’2000s and 3020 when we get there.”
Giannis Has More Than Two MVPs
Antetokounmpo came into the league as a skinny non-skilled athletic specimen. But now in his ninth year, he’s already accrued back-to-back MVPs, one Defensive Player of the Year award, one NBA Finals MVP, and he led the Bucks to their first NBA title in 50 years last season.
The dude has turned himself into one of the top three or four players in the NBA. He was voted to the NBA75 team over All-Star weekend in Cleveland recently as well.
Boasting career averages of 22 points, nearly 10 rebounds and 5 assists per game is Hall of Fame worthy numbers. When Oakley does that then he can criticize or demean Giannis’ accomplishments. Until then, he should zip it and worry about James Dolan’s security team at Madison Square Garden.
Sadly, Tracy McGrady believes the same thing as Oakley. But again, that’s these guys trying to preserve fading legacies. Giannis has already accomplished more than both, and he’s just 27.
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