KEY POINTS

  • Charles Oakley opens up about getting physical with Michael Jordan
  • Oakley admits that whenever Jordan stepped into the paint, he made him pay
  • Ex-Knicks coach bares that they never wanted Jordan to score on them

A former New York Knicks forward came clean with his bullying of Michael Jordan.

Charles Oakley played his first three seasons alongside Jordan in Chicago.

In 1988, Oakley joined the Knicks and became one of the most feared men in the NBA–a reputation that lasts even to this day.

In a recent interview with VLAD TV, the 57-year-old recounted the time he and the rest of the Knicks squad played extremely physical basketball on Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 90s.

According to Oakley, it didn’t really matter to him whether it was Jordan or whoever was approaching the painted area.

For “Oak,” as soon as they reach his “territory,” he made sure they pay the price by knocking them as hard as possible.

“You come to the paint, I mean that’s my job.,” Oakley explained. “[Jordan’s] His job is outside; mine’s the paint. Some people buy a lot of real estate, some people have little real estate. That little paint is my real estate; outside he can have all that real estate. But it was just part of the game.”

Michael Jordan Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan recently hinted that at age 52 he can still beat all of his team's current players. Photo: Reuters

“He [Jordan] knew the rules,” he continued. “It wasn’t like anybody tried to hurt him, but when you come inside, we gotta let you know. You come in my territory now, and I gotta let you know, it’s still the same way, you gotta pay the toll.”

Jordan has had a rich history with the then-Knicks squad that Oakley was a part of for years.

In fact, New York became Jordan’s final hurdle en route to the first NBA title of his first three-peat, and the playoff games between the two rival teams were bloody.

Addressing the subject in ESPN’s “The Last Dance,” former Knicks coach Pat Riley admitted that he personally instructed his players to beat Jordan up and not let him score inside the paint.

"When I was coaching the Knicks I told the team, 'You can't let him dunk on you,'" Riley admitted in the docuseries. "You gotta knock him down. If we don't meet him at the rim, he's going to embarrass you."

Former Knicks superstar Patrick Ewing, on the other hand, also revealed that there was indeed bad blood between his team and the Bulls at the time.

“We hated each other,” Ewing said of the Bulls-Knicks rivalry in the 90s. “It was extremely physical. It wasn’t really a foul until you drew blood.”