Former Miami Heat player apparently faked sickness to avoid having to run into Charles Oakley'
4 Min Read
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Since starting a podcast with former Miami Heat teammate Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem has shared plenty of interesting anecdotes about the organization.

He recently told the story of a former Heat forward, Tyrone Hill, who inexplicably sat out a game to seemingly avoid NBA enforcer Charles Oakley. Apparently, Hill owed Oakley money after losing in a card game.

“I’m not trying to be funny, dawg,” Haslem said while talking about Oakley. “I’ma be honest with you, dawg. One time, we had Tyrone Hill on our team. The motherf—– owed Oak some money for playing cards. … We went to play against Philly (Philadelphia 76ers) in Philly. I don’t know what Oak was doing at that game. But Tyrone Hill got sick, and he did not go warm up, or he did not play that night. Oak was looking for that motherf—–. It was well-known in the locker room.”

The incident presumably took place in the 2003-04 campaign when Haslem was still a rookie and Hill played in his lone season in a Heat uniform.

The former All-Star suited up in just five games that season, averaging 1.8 points and 1.6 rebounds per contest.

Interestingly, a feud between Oakley and Hill began a few years before the latter joined the Heat. During the 2000-01 campaign, Oakley, who was playing then for the Toronto Raptors, struck Hill, who was with the Sixers at the time, on the head with a basketball during shootaround. Consequently, the two-time All-Defensive team selection was suspended for one match and fined $10,000.

The following month, Hill was reported to have met Oakley in a Philadelphia hotel when the Raptors arrived in the city for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals matchup between the squads.

Hill reportedly owed Oakley around $54,000 from a dice game. Oakley didn’t confirm whether or not that debt was paid off.

Perhaps the score wasn’t settled, considering what Oakley said then.

“A gentleman pays his debt within a week or two,” he stated.

In addition, based on Haslem’s story, it looks like Hill had still not paid up years later. Or perhaps Hill owed Oakley money from a separate incident.

Crossing Oakley definitely wasn’t a bright idea, as the retired power forward made a name for himself in the league for his physical play and confrontational demeanor.

The Heat had their fair share of encounters with him, particularly in the playoffs. For instance, Oakley was a central figure in a brawl between Miami and the New York Knicks in the first round of the 1998 playoffs.

After a shoving and punching match occurred between Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson, Oakley intervened while then-Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy held onto Mourning’s leg. Interestingly, Oakley continued to serve as a peacemaker by trying to pacify an incensed Van Gundy.

New York eventually got the last laugh in that series, defeating Miami 3-2 to avenge its elimination at the hand of its rival in the previous Eastern Conference semifinals.

Share This Article
Orel writes all day, everyday. During the day, he writes and does research to complete his master's degree in education. During the night, he writes about the league he has loved since the '90s: the NBA.