Charles Oakley isn't afraid to let his opinion known about anything. That would include the current make up of the New York Knicks and how they treated him and Patrick Ewing, Isiah Thomas' role with the team, and whether Amar'e Stoudemire is the man to lead the Knicks back to the promised land.
While he was in New York to launch his clothing collection at the K1X store in SoHo, he didn't have too many kind words to say about the Knicks organization.
He doesn't think too highly of Stoudemire's game and thinks he's too West Coast to play in New York.
“Amar’e’s good, he’s good in his way,” Oakley said yesterday at the launch of his clothing collection at K1X’s store in SoHo. “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.”
Gotta disagree with Oak here. The East isn't the physical beast that it was when he played. Also the league is more athletic than it was back then which suits Stoudemire's game a whole lot better than it would've been back in the 80's and 90's. The players are more multiskilled than they were back then.It's an ongoing debate, but you must agree that the players of today are more athletic than years past.
Stoudemire might not be the player to get the Knicks to the promised land but stranger things have happened. I won't say he is and I won't say he won't lead them there, but he did seem to take more of a leadership role on the team when things started going south early in the season.
I do agree with what he said about head coach Mike D'Antoni. The Knicks will tease and excite you, but when it's time to play halfcourt ball and get grimy, the Knicks fall short. Don't believe me, watch the first two games of the series against the Boston Celtics and tell me why they lost. They can't play in the halfcourt.
“I don’t think [it can be successful], but that’s his coaching style,” Oakley said. “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.”
“I mean, they’ve got hype,” he said. “But hype don’t win nothing.”
That should've been known when the Phoenix Suns couldn't get past the Spurs when D'Antoni coached them. Run and gun doesn't win in playoff time. Check and see how many titles Doug Moe won when he was coaching.
About the Knicks organization as a whole, he still has love for them but feels disrespected by them for not offering him a job in any capacity.
“[The Knicks] don’t want nothing to do with me,” said Oakley, who played for the Knicks from 1988-98. “I don’t know why. I tried to deal with them on several occasions. I’m not gonna keep trying.
“They don’t like Patrick, either. They won’t give Patrick a job, so I know they won’t give me a job. Patrick should have a job before anyone. He’s probably the best guy since [Walt] Frazier, [Earl] Monroe ... he’s the main guy on the list.”
“My door is always open to the Knicks,” he said. “I tell them all the time. They said something about I told LeBron to go to Miami. I was like, ‘You all have to be one of the craziest organizations in the world.’
“Y’all should have tried to call me and talk to me, and maybe we could have gotten LeBron to New York. You went to Isiah [Thomas], and some of these other guys that don’t know the guy.”
True indeed. Patrick Ewing shouldn't have to go anywhere else to be an assistant or have his name mentioned with other coaching jobs. As for Oakley, I don't think anyone would be asking you to court free agents for their team anytime soon, considering your disdain for today's players.
Last but not least was the aforementioned Isiah Thomas. He doesn't like him and I doubt he ever will. Oakley gave him a piece of his mind since he happened to bring him up.
“I don’t understand how he even got a job with management,” said Oakley, 47. “He had nothing to do with the Knicks, then he talked bad about the Knicks ... If I see him, he’d better turn around and go the other way.”
Well Charles, last time I checked Isiah Thomas never ran from anyone and never will. He was one of the toughest "little guys" to ever play the game, and considering his track record I don't think he'd be turning the othere way when he saw you. He still has that Chicago swagger in him and won't back down from anyone.