The Toronto Raptors paid tribute to Charles Oakley recently, handing out bobbleheads to the first 5,000 fans at a home game. Oakley played 208 games for Toronto between 1998 and 2001.
Former NBA All-Star himself was present in the arena, and got surrounded by reporters during the event.
Answering the question about what he himself and his two former NY teammates Anthony Mason and Patrick Ewing would do in today’s league, Oakley was straight.
“What would we do? I know we would win a lot of games. I don’t know what would’ve happened, but we would come out and play hard,” Oakley told NBA.com.
“The way they’re shooting now, we would have a lot of rebounds every night, and we would have a chance to win games every night,” he said.
Oakley also spoke on whether he sees players like himself in the league today or if the game has just changed too much.
“I didn’t see none when I was playing myself,” Oakley said. “I am not going down on these guys, but someone picked them so they got ability I guess.”
When asked if any NBA team today would sign a guy like Charles Oakley, he said he wasn’t sure.
“A guy like me in today’s game would be fouled out in the first quarter,” he said. “So, I don’t know.”
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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