We've heard many stories about it, but for those who don't know, Charles Oakley was a legitimate bruiser both inside and outside the basketball court. In simpler terms, Oak was not the guy you would want to mess around with because you might regret it.
Seemingly aware of Oakley's reputation, former Chicago Bulls center Eddy Curry had no choice but to obey the veteran forward's orders, especially off the court.
If Oak said it, you do it
In his rookie season in 2001, Curry became teammates with Oakley in Chicago. For the better part of the one season they played together, Eddy could say Oak was "his guy," and he had a wild ride with him in that short period of time. And by saying wild, we literally meant wild.
Curry said that after every game, they all "had a certain amount of time to get to the plane" but Oakley would always say, "he had to go get his soul food." Curry stated that Oak would always make him drive.
After arriving at the restaurant, where Oakley was friends with the owner, Curry said they "hang out like we had nowhere to be" and like time wasn't of the essence. Aware that they were already late for the trip, Oak would order Curry to drive as fast as he could and would put on some "police lights" to escape traffic and violations.
"He'd have me in his Range Rover on the highway. Every time we ran late, he had a switch that had police lights," Curry told Hoopshypes. "He'd hit the lights and had me riding on the shoulder and barked out these orders while I was driving. I used to be so scared. I was like, 'Oak, I'm going to get arrested.' He's like, 'F*ck that. You heard me. I got you. Don't worry.' We'd barely make it to the plane."
What made those experiences even more epic was that Curry said everybody in the organization would call him out for being late but not Oakley.
"They wouldn't say anything to Oakley, but they'd say something to me for being late even though they know I'm with Oakley," he added.
Oak likes speed
If some of you think that Oakley was just strong-arming a rookie like Curry, you're wrong. Because even during his first stint with the Bulls, he was already speeding. And yes, he did it with Michael Jordan as well.
"You could tell when somebody catching up on you, so the car was getting close to us, we just took off doing about 140, 150," Oakley recalled. "Next thing we know, about 2 miles up the road about 20 police cars, and they had a roadblock for us. And we stopped and got out... 'Oh, Mr. Jordan! We're sorry; Just slow it down, we'll see you next week'."
Indeed, those road adventures were risky, and it speaks a lot about how tough Oakley really is. After all, we're still fortunate to have him here with us, healthy and still looking like he could go up against any big men in today's NBA.