There are many stories about Charles Oakley's personality and the respect he earned during his NBA days. The former Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks player had a big reputation around the NBA community and outside, even intimidating people that had a lot of power.
On the court, rivals had the utmost respect for Oakley given his willingness to get physical if the situation forced him to do so. He faced big rivals during his career but never feared any of them.
Besides being a physical force on the court, he was a great trash talker. Oakley recently revealed that he didn't mince words when trying to get under his rivals' skins, no matter how big they were.
Talking on a recent edition of SHOWTIME's All The Smoke, Oakley explained how he enjoyed facing Shaquille O'Neal and the duels they had at the rim.
"Shaq can't back me down. ... I just like playing against Shaq," Oakley said. "He's a big guy, but when you're a big like that, one thing you don't want to do is get too close to him. You always want to keep your balance 'cause Shaq wants to feel you and spin. I've seen that move so many times – just spin and dunk on everybody."
"I told him you would never dunk on me," Oakley said. "I'mma hit you to the fu****g head."
Oakley wasn't one to back down to any challenge. That's how he became an important player wherever he went, demonstrating his talent and fierce competitiveness every night.
Shaquille O'Neal was one of the most dominant players in NBA history, dunking his way to four NBA championships, an MVP award and many accolades. The Big Diesel inflicted fear in those who clashed with him on the court, but Oakley wasn't one of them. He stood up to any rival, and not even Shaq could change that.