Charles Oakley annihilates Charles Barkley when asked about his impending retirement from TV: ‘He’s a clown, point blank’

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Former NBA big man Charles Oakley did not hold back his feelings about Charles Barkley when asked about his thoughts on the Hall of Famer potentially retiring from television following the 2024-25 NBA season.

“I don’t give a f— about Charles Barkley,” Oakley said. “He need to go to the gym and worry about his health. But his mouth is gonna get him in trouble. But I mean, he’s a clown, point blank. He look for attention. The stuff he said now, he would never say back in the day about no player or somebody would’ve hit him in his f—— fat mouth.”

It seems that there is still a bit of a rivalry – or even a disdain – between Oakley and Barkley, who competed against each other during their NBA careers.

Oakley played for several teams (the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets) from the 1985-86 season through the 2003-04 campaign.

A one-time All-Star and two-time All-Defensive selection, Oakley was a hard-nosed rebounder and enforcer during his NBA career. He had to deal with power forwards and centers – like Barkley – during the physical play of the NBA during the 1980s and 1990s.

Barkley and Oakley overlapped quite a bit, as the 1992-93 season’s MVP played from the 1984-85 campaign through the 1999-00 season. Barkley spent time with the Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets during his Hall of Fame career.

An 11-time All-Star as a player, Barkley has been a fixture on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” for several seasons. As an commentator, Barkley has been outspoken at times, and it appears that some of his thoughts on today’s players have rubbed Oakley the wrong way.

It’s natural for analysts to be critical of the players that they cover, and Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal are often critical of big men in their analysis on TNT, as they were both dominant post players during their careers.

Oakley certainly knows a thing or two about getting into a scuffle with Barkley, as it happened during their playing careers.

This isn’t the first time that Oakley has spoken out against Barkley, as he also took a shot against him in his memoir The Last Enforcer.

“He’s not close with Michael [Jordan] no more. I don’t know who he’s really on (good) terms with now,” Oakley said of Barkley. “So I know he wants to come to the cookout and play 18 holes with us, but we’re not inviting him no more. He’s out. You act up, you go stand in the corner with one leg in the air. … That’s Charles, in the corner of the playground by himself. You can see him, because he’s kind of big.”

Even though they are long removed from competing in the NBA, it doesn’t seem like the Oakley-Barkley rivalry will end anytime soon.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.