It is well documented that Charles Oakley was an enforcer and not to be played with it during his heyday in the NBA.
John Salley found that out the hard way.
The longtime NBA journeyman recently recalled a story from years ago when the former Detroit Pistons center was once punched by Michael Jordan’s loyal henchman and former Chicago Bulls teammate Charles Oakley.
Salley joined the Bulls during the 1995-96 season to play in just 17 games and averaged 2.1 points and 2.5 rebounds during that stint, but it was a story of getting punched that made his tenure memorable. While at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, Salley was surrounded by comedians like Dave Chappelle and Chris Tucker when he saw Michael Jordan and Kobe bryant:
Transcript via Dan Feldman of NBC Sports:
““Off to the right is Charles Oakley, who, if you don’t know, is Michael’s security guard forever and didn’t like me,” Salley recalled to Dan LeBatard on his ESPN Radio show. “So, I look at Michael, and I said, “Wait, at 27 years old” – whatever, 27 – I put my hand on Michael’s shoulder, and I go, “At 27 years old, young boy would have given you the business.”
And out of the blue, Charles Oakley comes and punches me in the stomach. But I mean the way he wanted to hit Dolan. Not the way he was pushing the security guard. He unleashed on me, Dan. And I saw it at the last second and tightened up a little bit. He knocked all the air out of me.
And Dave Chappelle said, “This is the only time I wish I still had my show. This is a scene.”
And Michael is like, “No, come on Charles. You know Sal is crazy. He’s just joking. He’s just joking.”
He’s like, “I don’t like when he talks that stuff to you.” He’s been wanting to hit me since the 80s. But, man, he hit me with everything he could.
I had a suit on, too. And I wasn’t going to stand back up and fight him. I’m a karate man. I bruise on the inside.”
Amazing how a comment about comparing Jordan to Bryant was more than enough for Oakley to fly into a rage and punch somebody.
WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.