Dennis Rodman and Charles Oakley are known to be two of the toughest ballers in NBA history. The two big men have gone at it several times on the hard court. Outside of it, the two also had a crazy encounter, which started when Rodman was caught eating off other people’s plates.
One day, Oakley got a call from his manager, informing him that Rodman was at his South Beach steakhouse, Prime 112. The Chicago Bulls forward was munching on steaks — but in a rather unconventional way.
“I get a call from my manager. He said, ‘Oak, guess what’s happening?’ I said, “What?” He said, ‘Dennis is walking around eating off people's plates.’ I said, ‘I’ll be right over,’” Oakley narrated, per GQ.
Once Oakley arrived, he peeked through the window and saw Rodman, doing exactly what his manager had told him. Oakley did not hesitate to confront Rodman and tell him to leave.
“I made a beeline for him. I did him like I did Charles Barkley, I didn’t smack the guy. I just grabbed him by his shirt and asked him, “What the heck is you doing?” He said, “I’m just having a good time.” I said, "You don't have a good time like this in my type of establishment." I grabbed him, dragged him to the door and threw him out. I said, "Don’t you never come around me again," Oakley said.
Dennis Rodman, a soft boy
That incident changed Oakley and Rodman’s relationship. Rodman is feared by many for his basketball prowess and bad-boy image. But Oakley claims that Rodman’s real personality is far from his public persona.
“No! When he sees me, he goes the other way. Did you see “Bronx Tale,” when that guy owes that guy that money? Any time he sees him, he says, ‘I’m gonna pay you’ and he runs the other way? That’s what Dennis does. I’ve seen him a couple of times, but he goes the other way. Dennis is soft. He was a good rebounder, but he was soft. When you need that much attention, and you got to do all that, something is wrong,” Oakley said.
Perhaps Oakley has hit the nail right on the head with his observation and reading of Rodman’s personality. Rodman cried like a baby when he won his first Defensive Player of the Year award in 1990. He also showed raw emotion when he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.