Charles Oakley is one of the toughest players the NBA has ever seen, as he played the role of a bruiser and enforcer for many historic teams of the '80s and '90s. Oak is mainly remembered for his days with the New York Knicks, but before that, Charles was starting out his career in Chicago with the Bulls, playing with young versions of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
Oakley comments on the MJ/Pippen fallout
The Bulls eventually traded Oakley to the Knicks for Bill Cartwright in 1988, as Chicago needed to shake things up in order to get over the hump of the Detroit Pistons. Even though that played a part in the Bulls eventually assembling a dynasty of the 90s', Oakley still left a considerable influence on Jordan and Pippen's upbringing in the NBA, serving as that inside presence and protector.
That obviously led to them building a friendship and camaraderie, as Oakley is friends with MJ and Scottie to this day. So it was interesting to hear what Charles Oakley thinks about the recent fall-off that happened between the two, as Pippen made numerous controversial statements regarding Jordan and their relationship.
As reported by Alex Kennedy of BasketballNews, Oakley did an interview for Betway and answered numerous interesting questions about his playing days and the current NBA. Of course, the subject of Scottie's and MJ's beef got mentioned, with Charles sharing he doesn't think "The Last Dance" caused all of this:
"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?"
Charles Oakley, Betway
Oakley also shared how Scottie wanted to be better than Michael ever since he entered the league, despite nobody wanting to listen:
"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. One thing he did say when he first got to the league when he was a rookie, he said he wanted to be better than Mike...He feels like he's better than Mike. He said it back then, a lot of people just didn't hear him say it. If you asked 100 people who's better, 99 are going to say Michael Jordan, so [Scottie's] the one. There's always one, right?"
Charles Oakley, Betway
It didn't seem like it because he entered the NBA and instantly became the Robin to Jordan's Batman, but Pippen had higher ambitions with his career. It's pretty crazy to say that a player with 6 championships, 7 All-Star appearances, 10 All-Defensive selections, and 2 Olympic golds isn't satisfied with how people view his legacy.
But the fact is the majority of the NBA world considers Pippen the perfect #2 guy and complementary player, rather than the star and best player he saw in himself. That narrative obviously triggered Pippen to eventually let it all out 20 years later. That suprised everyone and drastically changed the way we view Scottie Pippen. And not in a good way.