NBA Icon Charles Oakley Urges Knicks to Address Joel Embiid's On-Court Behavior

Charles Oakley voices strong opinions on NBA court conduct

by Zain ul Abedin
NBA Icon Charles Oakley Urges Knicks to Address Joel Embiid's On-Court Behavior
© Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

Former New York Knicks standout Charles Oakley has openly criticized Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid for his conduct during the ongoing NBA playoffs. Embiid, the reigning NBA MVP, delivered a stellar 50-point performance in Game 3, helping the 76ers secure a 125-114 victory over the Knicks.

However, Oakley's concerns weren't with Embiid's scoring prowess but his on-court demeanour. Speaking to Newsday, Oakley expressed dissatisfaction with Embiid's actions, emphasizing a no-nonsense approach to pre-game interactions.

"They’ve got to do something about it," Oakley remarked. "I wouldn’t be shaking their hands before the game when they play, friends or no friends. I wouldn’t shake Embiid’s hand or anyone’s hand.

We are on a mission." Embiid has been at the center of controversy throughout the series, notably during Game 3. He was called for a flagrant foul early in the match for an incident involving Knicks center Mitchell Robinson.

Embiid fell to the ground, grabbed Robinson’s legs while down, and interfered as Robinson attempted a shot, resulting in Robinson awkwardly injuring his ankle. Despite the foul, Embiid was not ejected from the game. Adding to the tension, Embiid struck Robinson in the groin during another play.

Oakley's Tough Take

Oakley, known for his tough demeanor during his playing days, suggested that he would have taken matters into his own hands if he were still in the league. "I probably would have smacked him," he stated bluntly, reflecting on how such behavior was dealt with in the past.

"You can’t let him send that kind of message. If he had done something like that [when I played], he would not have gotten away with it." The incident recalls the discipline of former players like David Robinson, who, according to Oakley, knew the limits of acceptable conduct on the court.

Oakley's comments highlight a generational divide in sportsmanship and physical play perspectives. As the series progresses, with the Knicks holding a 2-1 lead and the next game set for Sunday in Philadelphia, all eyes will be on how both teams, especially Embiid, handle the increasing pressure and scrutiny.

Knicks Joel Embiid