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Charles Oakley Says Giannis Would Have Come Off the Bench Back in the Day

Stephen Douglas
Chicago Bulls v Washington Bullets
Chicago Bulls v Washington Bullets / Focus On Sport/GettyImages
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Charles Oakley appeared on SLAM's No Pump Fakes podcast a couple weeks ago and a clip from that appearance is currently making the rounds. It is the latest in everyone's favorite series where retired basketball players say a star from right now wouldn't have been any good during their era. Here's Oakley getting laughed at for saying Giannis wouldn't have been any good back in the day because defenses would simply make him shoot jumpers, something no modern coach has apparently ever considered.

Oakley said he was skeptical because Giannis "couldn't make a jump shot or free throw," but then he won him over last season. Oakley then says in the next breath that Giannis would not have been a force "back in the day," going so far as to say he would have come off the bench. The hosts push back while laughing in disbelief, which is really all you can do in this situation because who wants to be the one to tell Charles Oakley he sounds dumb?

Basketball-Reference actually has shot percentages by distance for Oakley's last two seasons with the Knicks. In '96-'97 and '97-'98 Oakley shot 54% from inside three feet. Giannis shot 57% around the rim as a skinny, inexperienced rookie. He's now up over 80% which is higher than Patrick Ewing (or Shaq) ever was. The idea that Giannis would simply be forced to shoot jumpers by someone like Charles Oakley who is 20 pounds lighter than Giannis laughable.

As is the idea that any of the modern superstars would suddenly be scrubs 20 years ago, but retired players keep saying this dumb shit. It's ridiculous and it's the exact reason why the Ballsack Sports graphics keep working. Because these guys keep saying things like this!

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