Legendary NBA big man Charles Oakley was at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., Wednesday for what's known as a "car wash" of interviews -- fitting, because the ex-Knicks player has made a post-retirement career out of his own line of car washes. Oakley wasn't at ESPN to promote those, but instead Moore Trainer resistance bands, which are designed to help athletes train more efficiently.
Of course, Oak being Oak, it didn't take much prodding for him to fire a quick volley of shots at longtime nemesis Charles Barkley, who he has famously confronted both on and (allegedly) off the court.
On allegedly slapping Barkley during a players’ association meeting in 1999:
"We were trying to get a deal done. Things happen. It just happened. There was no playing or plodding. It just happened."
On definitely slapping Barkley in a preseason game in 1996:
"If something goes down, we're not going to talk about it a week later. Some guys say, 'I'll meet you after the game.' No. It's in the game. Just like different restaurants have different menus, it's a different era. I don't know what type of players there are now. In my time, that was just the way we played the game."
On how he feels about Barkley today:
"I don't go around talking to him. He has opinions. He talks every Tuesday and Thursday about things I did. I just don't like the way he tried to act like he was a good citizen when he played or that he was this and that. He was one of the hardest people to get along with, to play with, everything -- but people don't write about it. People give him a free pass because he's on TV, but I don't believe in that. When he spit on the guy in Cleveland, he got a break. I just don't like when you preach one thing and do something else. That's what the world is coming to. It's just phony. Nobody stands up for what they say anymore."
Actually, we know one guy who does.