Tag: Charles Oakley

Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard gestures to the crowd after winning in Toronto

Charles Oakley thinks the Magic should have put Dwight Howard “in time-out”


It takes a lot for players not to stick up for other players when it comes to disputes with management. Ownership and management have no loyalty towards the player, and in CBA disputes, well, you know who’s on who’s side. So the players speak up for any player that goes through something difficult.

Except when it comes to Charles Oakley, who could give a (insert your favorite phrase here) about what people think, and Dwight Howard’s situation with the Magic. From ESPN radio, courtesy of Eye on Basketball:

“A lot of guys cry in this league these days. I try not to get caught up in that. The management in Orlando let him get away with it. Most times, they put kids in timeout. They never put him in timeout. He just kept crying and got his way. Now he’s in LA with Kobe so they got a chance to win a couple championships in the next two or three years.

“They could have traded him and got something better for him last year. I think they just tried to play along. They just pleased him anyway they could but he never did anything to please them.”

via Charles Oakley: Orlando Magic needed to put ‘crying’ Dwight Howard ‘in timeout’ – CBSSports.com.

What should we say to that? My first thought is “Amen.”

The Magic’s mistake with Dwight Howard wasn’t keeping him last year instead of trading him. It wasn’t the package they got in the trade, and it wasn’t how long it took. It was the series of emotional responses they gave in handling the situation, and how they avoided tough decisions because of feelings they had about Howard. They needed to be calm, cool, and rational to get on top of it, and instead they wound up making desperate pleas and seeming like some emo-struck teenager.

With Rob Hennigan in charge, they’ve got a shot at getting things back under control. But the thing for them to take away from this debacle is that you can’t control how the superstars are going to act, but you can control your reaction to it and the standards you set for your organization.

(HT: Eye on Basketball)

Charles Oakley pretty much thinks that everybody is a wimp

Charles Oakley

Charles Oakley was on Jim Rome’s radio show today, and the former Bulls big man had some choice words for Kevin Garnett, Charles Barkley, and Kendrick Perkins. Here are the highlights, courtesy of Larry Brown Sports:

“Garnett left Minnesota and hollered and screamed and all that but hes not a tough guy,” Oakley said as Sports Talk Network shared with us. “He’s one of the weakest guys to ever play the game. He’s a complimentary player and went to Paul Pierce’s team and won a championship. I wouldn’t consider him a top 10 tough guy…

…“Barkley, for his size, was a good player but he’s a coward,” Oakley continued. “He was a good player for his size, but he wasn’t a leader and wasn’t a role model. Now he talks so bad about younger guys. I don’t respect that from him. He’s a fraud. He can criticize all the younger kids and if he got something to say, call them and talk to them before you just blast them. He’s wants to be funny, that whole TNT thing and all that, they’re like some clowns on that show”…

…Oakley wasn’t done there. He also said that Kendrick Perkins is similar to K.G. in that all he does is holler and complain, and that the Thunder would win championships if he would just play basketball. Oakley added that Perk’s attitude is the reason he got dunked on by Blake Griffin, and said throughout his 19-year career he only got dunked on three times. Somebody check the tape on that, please.

Oakley, who was named to both the All-Defense team and the All-Star team as a member of the famously physical New York Knicks in 1994, spent the 1st few years of his career as Michael Jordan’s teammate and unofficial “enforcer,” and Jordan was famously enraged when then-Bulls GM Jerry Krause traded Oakley for Bill Cartwright before the Bulls went on their historic title runs. By most accounts, Oakley and Jordan remain good friends, but it doesn’t look like he’s looking to make many new ones.

Charles Oakley smacks around Knicks, D’Antoni for fun

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We told you the other day how Charles Oakley piled on LeBron James, joining a long line of former players and fans who do that (Charles Barkley is their front man).

But that was just part of a whole interview of Oakley being Oakley, which you can find at SLAM.

One other part of interest was Oakley on his former team, the Knicks. Which he says can’t win right now, not with Mike D’Antoni’s style of play.

“I don’t think so, but that’s his coaching style. They knew when they signed him — When you go buy a Bentley, you know it’s not a Volkswagen. When they signed him, they knew what they were getting. That conversation should be dead, because it’s a West Coast offense playing in a hard-nosed city. You always give somebody a chance to prove themselves. I mean, this is his fourth year. He’s had a lot of time. I think it’s just more half-court offense, and they need the big, tough guy. He don’t want to play that way, but finesse, it’s not gonna work.”

About Amare Stoudemire:

“Amar’e is good, he’s good in his way. He’s a West Coast player trying to translate to the East Coast. And the longer he plays in the East, the more his body’s gonna get damaged, because he’s got to take a beating now.”

That’s part of why Mike Woodson was brought in — to change the team’s defense and perceptions, and to find a way to make D’Antoni’s successful offense win in New York. Of course, it won pretty well in Phoenix, they were one Robert Horry hip check away from the NBA finals. But then again, the Suns had really good personnel around their star point guard, so the system worked. It’s more about the players than the system. Always has been, always will be.

Maybe we should let LeBron finish his career before we decide his legacy

Not shown: hair on LeBron's forehead.

Magic Johnson made a lot of friends around the Internet when he smacked around LeBron James the other day. Charles Oakley joined in. Cracking on LeBron as not all he could be has become a national past time. Saying he is not clutch because he doesn’t have a ring has somehow become accepted truth for people, the heart of LeBron’s legacy.

Except, maybe we should wait until LeBron finishes playing until we decide what his legacy will be.

I will give you four reasons why.

1) LeBron is 26 years old. He has nearly a decade of basketball ahead of him (well, assuming the lockout ends in our lifetime). He is just entering his prime. While the whole “not five, not six…” thing was arrogant, it would be foolish to assume he will never have a ring or a few rings. And if you don’t think those are redemptive of a reputation, ask Dirk Nowitzki.

2) Magic Johnson was not seen as clutch or a winner for a while. This seems ridiculous on the surface — Magic had an NCAA title and an NBA ring by the time he was 25 — but as Rohan Cruyff reminds us at SBN in 1894 Magic was seen as a guy out for stats and flashy play who didn’t care about winning.

Make no mistake: until the Lakers’ 1985 breakthrough against Boston, Magic’s failures were no less extensively highlighted than LeBron’s. In ’84, the Los Angeles Times published a story entitled, “Earvin, What Happened to Magic?” The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, not to be outdone, referred to Johnson as the “tarnished superstar” and “the goat of the series.” Public opinion has swung as quickly and forcefully against the 26-year-old James, who like Magic in ’84, has a ways to go before his “legacy” or all-time standing can seriously be considered.

I grew up in Los Angeles, and this is spot on. We know now how off that perception of Magic was, but at the time it was accepted truth.

3) At age 26, Michael Jordan had no rings and was considered a failure. Up until his first ring, many people considered Jordan a selfish gunner who would never win, as Tom Haberstroh reminds us at ESPN. Again, that perception was off, but in our society you are not clutch until suddenly you are. It took time for Jordan to win rings and cement his legend as one of the greatest ever to lace up sneakers. If you defined MJ at age 26, you’d get a guy a lot like LeBron.

By the way, if you’re going to throw Kobe Bryant out there, let me ask you this — if LeBron came into the league on a team with Shaquille O’Neal in his prime and veterans like Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Glen Rice, Brian Shaw and many others on it, how many ring would LeBron have? If you just said zero, you’re wrong.

4) LeBron James is more clutch than he gets credit for. I am not going to argue about the last two games of the finals against Dallas in 2011. Or Game 5 against Boston in 2010. LeBron is not perfect in the clutch and has work to do. But that is only half of the story, as Zach Lowe broke down at Sports Illustrated.

But to label James as ”un-clutch” or fearful of big moments based on the second half of the 2011 Finals and Game 5 against Boston in 2010 conveniently ignores the rest of his résumé, including the two series that immediately preceded the last season’s Finals — series in which LeBron destroyed Boston and then Chicago in crunch time. It ignores the 2009 conference finals against Orlando, in which James averaged an insane 39-8-8 line and won Game 2 with a legendary buzzer-beater. It ignores his 25 consecutive points against the Pistons in 2007 and that in 2008 he almost single-handedly defeated the Celtics, the eventual champions, in a seven-game series the Cavaliers had no place winning.

The point is that things are not black and white with LeBron, they are shades of gray. He is not a disaster in the clutch, he has good and bad games. And at age 26 it is far too early to define his legacy. Rings are a magic balm in our society, they changes our perception of players. We don’t know how we’ll perceive LeBron in a decade.

That doesn’t sit well with those who hate LeBron, because it requires patience and nuance. But it is the truth. They key parts of LeBron’s legacy have yet to be written.

Video: NBA 2K12 trailer, where you can be Charles Oakley


It’s the video game player you have been praying to unlock forever — you can have a team with Charles Oakley. Or Dikembe Mutombo.

There is also Larry Bird and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson and so many more of the game’s greats in the new trailer for NBA 2K12. But what is really intriguing me right now is you get those teams — you get Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley. This should be fun.

Or, you can just be Hakeem and make Darko look bad all day.