The Legendary Story About Charles Oakley Slapping Charles Barkley Was Confirmed By Chucky Brown

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Chucky Brown was never a household name, but fans all over the country probably knew who he was during his 14 seasons as an NBA player. That’s because he holds the distinction of having played for an NBA record 12 teams (tied with Jim Jackson, Tony Massenburg, and Joe Smith), including the Houston Rockets when they won the NBA Championship in 1995. In 1996, the Rockets shipped him, with Robert Horry, Sam Cassell, and Mark Bryant, to the Phoenix Suns for Charles Barkley, but that’s hardy the most interesting story involving Brown and Barkley.

Brown is the debut guest on the Jerseys and Dress Shirts podcast this week, and he is tossing a little more gasoline on the Springfield tire fire that is the feud between Charles Barkley and Charles Oakley. In the first part of his interview, Brown mostly talks about his early days and college career, before eventually touching on his shared record and the teams that meant the most (and least) to him. In the second part, however, things are supposed to get juicy, as they promise a “story about Charles Barkley will have you playing it back.” That doesn’t drop until Friday, though.

Fortunately, TMZ Sports has the advance on that audio, and Brown’s story is confirmation to one of the greatest moments in the hilarious Barkley-Oakley feud.

We had a lockout in… 1999, so the players’ union decides to fly all the players up as a sign of solidarity that we together and all of that. So, I’m standing in the hallway talking to Dream, laughing with Dream about our days in Houston, and I look down the hallway and see Charles Barkley. Well, not down the hallway, Barkley was next to me talking to this white guy, I don’t even know who he was. Some lawyer or something, I don’t know. So, I look down the hall, I see Derrick Coleman, Anthony Mason – God bless his soul – and Charles Oakley. Back in the day, those were three of the guys you didn’t want to mess with.

I see Oakley coming, I’m looking at Oakley, and it looks like he’s looking at me. Barkley is standing right over here. Oakley and I had gotten into something on the court, so I’m thinking, “Damn, I don’t want to fight this dude.” But if I gotta do it, I gotta do it, know what I’m saying? He walks past me, walks up to Charles Barkley, and he’s like, “What’s that sh*t you were saying?” Barkley just kind of looked at him, and Oakley open-hand slapped him.

Now, these guys have hated each other so much for so long that they once famously fought in a playoff game, and then later in a freaking preseason game. Even all these years later, when Barkley is mouthing off on Inside the NBA, Oakley still fires back. But this story about the players’ union meeting has always been so great, because it’s one of those rare times when Barkley takes the L (not counting his lack of championships, obviously).

He denies that it ever happened, of course, but Brown’s version lines up very well with the original report. From the New York Daily News that week:

The unofficial start to the NBA season came sometime Wednesday afternoon when Charles Oakley said he belted his longtime nemesis Charles Barkley in the face during the players union meeting. “I heard what he was saying about me in Atlantic City and I didn’t like it,” Oakley said last night. “I’m fed up with him. “I told him you need to change your name. I’m the only Charles.”

Again, this is such a wonderful rivalry.

Oakley claims Barkley plays the punk when he tries to be friendly off the court. “He did that the other day,” Oakley said. “He thought everything was cool, but I’m not his friend. Then everybody grabbed us.”

Oakley allegedly slapped Barkley across the face and the two were quickly separated by the Knicks’ Chris Mills and Indiana’s Antonio Davis.

Even better, here’s how nonchalantly Oakley made it seem in a 2012 interview with ESPN:

“We were trying to get a deal done. Things happen. It just happened. There was no playing or plodding. It just happened.”

These guys would probably fight to the death if we’d let them, but I have a better idea: Let’s get them together on Kevin Garnett’s Area 21 and let them squash this beef once and for all. Or not! Maybe they’ll just keep it going. In that case, we’ll make it a weekly segment.