Charles Oakley was often considered to be the “heart and soul” of the NY Knicks, alongside his more tangible defense and rebounding contributions. He was undoubtedly one of the toughest NY Knicks ever to step on the court.
The today’s NY Knicks are far from what they were during Oakley’s playing days, and former star isn’t shy of expressing his point of view on why the team is in such a state.
Speaking to TMZ, Oakley pinned the team’s failures on the owner James Dolan, who previously wrote a nasty email to a long-time fan of the team.
Oakley told TMZ that he thought Dolan was a “diva,” and absolutely went off on the guy.
“As hard as I played for that motherf—-r, and he don’t want to talk with me?” Oakley said.
“Everybody in New York liked me except this one guy. Why is this?” said Oakley. “Everywhere I talk to people – ‘Why aren’t you working with the Knicks?’ I said I try to. They said, ‘What, is it Dolan?’ I talked to maybe a million people. He’s a bad guy.”
“I asked the commissioner to set up a meeting with (Dolan), take a step forward,” said Oakley. “I want to know what I did to be hated so bad by an owner. The dad (Charles Dolan), I never heard him say nothing bad about me. I asked players I played with to go talk with (James Dolan). He said he don’t want to deal with me.”
Oakley played 19 years in the NBA, for Chicago Bulls, NY Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets. Oakley spent 10 years with the NY Knicks. He played a total of 1282 games (started 1159), averaging 9.7 ppg, 9.5 rpg in 31.4 mpg.
Oakley led the NBA in total rebounds for 2 straight years in a row (1987, 1988), and was known to be one of the toughest forwards in the league. Oakley was named an NBA All-Star in 1994, while playing for the Knicks.
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