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  1. #1
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    Oakley weighs in on the NBA (and the current state of MSG and the Knicks)

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/20...ZMO/story.html


    Charles Oakley believes league has taken a turn for worse

    By Gary Washburn | GLOBE STAFF APRIL 06, 2014
    Longtime Knick Charles Oakley has some pointed opinions about the direction of the NBA, the lack of true centers, and the disappearance of enforcers.



    He is one of the all-time great enforcers, so imposing that half of the current crop of NBA players probably wouldn’t dare take on a 50-year-old Charles Oakley.

    Oakley is brutally honest, having played during a time when a flagrant foul was one that drew blood and knocked out teeth. The NBA of the 1990s was a defensive league when scoring 90 points would warrant free tacos for the home fans. Oakley stood tall in the paint as a bruising power forward, laying out those pesky guards who chose to challenge his authority by driving to the basket.

    Oakley was in Boston on Saturday, appearing at the sixth annual Jaden’s Ladder gala at the Ritz-Carlton. (Jaden’s Ladder is a nonprofit organization that assists survivors of domestic violence. Oakley appeared with Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk and actor Mekhi Phifer.)

    And the longtime Knick has some pointed opinions about the direction of the league, the lack of true centers, and the disappearance of enforcers. Oakley never won an NBA title, having been dealt from Chicago to the Knicks before the Bulls began their dominance. As a Knick, he was on the team that lost in the 1994 Finals to the Houston Rockets. Still, he enjoyed a storied career filled with vicious screens, brutal elbows, and flattened opponents.

    “I just tried to go out there and play with attitude, doing what I was supposed to do and knowing my role on the team,” said Oakley, who played from 1985 until 2004. “Doing what my team expected me to do every night, not just once a week. It was all about work and I was just a tough guy who would knock somebody down.”

    Oakley’s style is nearly comatose in the NBA. Instant replay has allowed officials to break down every potentially rough foul, causing players to refrain from such activity. In Oakley’s days, officials weren’t so generous with technicals and ejections. The league was brutally tough.

    “Back in the ’60s and ’70s, they looked like they were more finesse and they are finesse now,” said Oakley. “It’s going back [to finesse], a lot of outside shooting, a lot of ballhandlers, that’s how I see it. There weren’t a lot of post players back then [in the ’60s] and not a lot of post players now.”

    Why is the league so chummy? Why is the NBA lacking the real rivalries from the ’80s and ’90s? Why has the overall level of play dipped?

    “I’m blaming the management, I’m not blaming the kids,” Oakley said. “I’m blaming management for drafting guys on potential. Back in our day and era, you had to have your potential and be ready to play right away. Everybody was talented. In three years, you’d be out of the league [if you didn’t perform]. Draft what you need, not what someone else said is good.

    “We had guys come out of high school, Moses Malone, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, but all these guys could play. It wasn’t about you’ve got to wait three or four years. That’s why Philadelphia is so bad, Sacramento, they got players but they are all young.”

    Oakley continued his criticism of the league and its individualism.

    “The coaches in this league, in this day and era, are soft; the players are soft, how can you build something?” he said. “They put all these stat guys, these analytic guys, and put them on the bench and make them GM because of numbers. My thing with basketball, you’ve got to have efficiency within your structure, like San Antonio. You’ve got to have your players to buy in. That’s what wrong with the league, you’ve got guys worried about social media, my brand. You brand once you get drafted, when you win as a team, you get your brand. When your team wins, then all of those commercials will come. Everything is all about hype.”

    Oakley has an interesting theory. He believes in order to globalize the league, ex-commissioner David Stern had to change the rules to make the NBA more inviting for European players. While the rule changes to increase scoring were effective, they made the league less physical.

    “When we played in the ’80s, it wasn’t OK [for European players to play in the NBA],” Oakley said. “They weren’t coming over here. They were scared. The game was tough and they weren’t tough. Back then it was 1 percent and now it’s 40 percent and it’s going to keep going up. The dollar is international now. I don’t like 7-footers shooting threes, it’s a disrespect to the game for me. Dirk [Nowitzki] is good, point blank. [Larry] Bird got away with it. A few guys can get away with it because they can flat-out shoot.”

    Ten of Oakley’s 19 years in the league were spent with the Knicks, when the team thrived in the mid-1990s under coach Pat Riley. Currently, the Knicks are an organization in upheaval, having just hired Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson as team president to correct the dysfunction. Oakley said all the losing has taken the passion out of the Knicks’ faithful. He said it’s difficult to watch the decline of his former team.

    “I talked to some fans from New York,” he said. “It’s like going to a concert — going to the Garden — people just want to get drunk and have fun and take pictures. They don’t really care about the game. That’s not there anymore. You’ve got some of the best fans in the world in New York. There’s no way they should be losing. You’ve got the same team that won 54 games last year. You can’t just play the last 25 games of the season tough and forget about the other 57. It don’t work like that.”


    ------------------

    God I miss Oak.

  2. #2
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    Funny thing about this is the Spurs is one of the leaders in the stats movement. They are among the forefront in health analytics, line up analytics, and player analysis. They were one of the first teams to implement SportsVu and use advanced health monitoring tools.

    The Spurs aren't tough or soft because of analytics. They use analytics because they're smart.

    And they're tough because Pops is tough and doesn't take crap from anyone, no matter how big the star.
    J.R. Smith: "They were pretty much scoring at will. Especially my guy. I don't know what the hell I was doing on defense."

    Raymond Felton : "The play was give the ball to Melo."

  3. #3
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    My biggest issues with the league these days: The national networks like to attribute the overall poor play in the NBA on players coming to the league too early, when the real problem is that coaching across the league stinks. I guess a lot of that has to do with Management though, you have these soft players that don't want to be coached hard crying to management and ultimately causing coaches get fired. Other coaches see this and begin to cater to the players, instead doing their duties as a coach.

    The post game is disappearing from basketball like the running game and hard hitting is leaving the NFL. It's so frustrating to watch so many teams go through scoring droughts and taking so many bad shots, simply because very few teams emphasis feeding the post or taking the ball to the rack.

    The league spent so many years chasing the next MJ, they damaged the competitive culture of the NBA. Everybody was trying to be the first to find the next MJ and capitalize on the guy. Guys come into the league now with a million commercials and folks from ESPN calling guys great and future hall of famers, before the guys prove anything. The NBA is similar to AAU now, guys are just about getting buckets & money and don't have the desire to win like guys use to. All these guys grew up playing AAU against one another and are more worried about being buddies that they don't go hard after one another. Lebron does an amazing job of buddying guys up and then rip their heart out on the court. As long as it's friendly competition Lebron thrives, when guys are going for his neck and doing whatever they need to beat Lebron he has issues with those type of teams.
    "..complex mane dat love simple thangs."*S.L.uggeR*

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    Quote Originally Posted by torocan View Post
    Funny thing about this is the Spurs is one of the leaders in the stats movement. They are among the forefront in health analytics, line up analytics, and player analysis. They were one of the first teams to implement SportsVu and use advanced health monitoring tools.

    The Spurs aren't tough or soft because of analytics. They use analytics because they're smart.

    And they're tough because Pops is tough and doesn't take crap from anyone, no matter how big the star.
    And thats his point.. You have a basketball guy calling the shots and he don't care who you are he won't take your crap..... Their best players buy in so there is no room for anybody else to fool around.. And more importantly everyone on that team knows their roll and they play to it... Basketball first.. Analytics after..
    The Dark Knight Rises to Save Gotham Once again..

  5. #5
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    Bring him in as an assistant please!!! give this team some toughness!

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    Quote Originally Posted by EnWhyKay View Post
    And thats his point.. You have a basketball guy calling the shots and he don't care who you are he won't take your crap..... Their best players buy in so there is no room for anybody else to fool around.. And more importantly everyone on that team knows their roll and they play to it... Basketball first.. Analytics after..
    You're creating a false dilemma. Analytics are only the enemy of people who don't understand them.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by knicksfan1794 View Post
    Bring him in as an assistant please!!! give this team some toughness!
    +1

  8. #8
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    The league as a whole is becoming too soft. The fouls that are called now-a-days are PATHETIC! Basketball was truly at its best back in the 80s and 90s.

    #KNICKS TAPED PLAYOFFS 2013

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeGamer81:28287076
    Quote Originally Posted by EnWhyKay View Post
    And thats his point.. You have a basketball guy calling the shots and he don't care who you are he won't take your crap..... Their best players buy in so there is no room for anybody else to fool around.. And more importantly everyone on that team knows their roll and they play to it... Basketball first.. Analytics after..
    You're creating a false dilemma. Analytics are only the enemy of people who don't understand them.
    Its not very hard to understand them. What the hell is hard to understand? Im all for situational stats, player combos etc. I'm all against the attempts at creating a end-all-be-all math formula to rate players. Its never gonna happen because the nature of the game won't allow for it. You can't isolate the individual like you can in baseball - the 5 man game is too dynamic to do that.

    For the thread, Oaks opinion of why the rules changed is on point. Stern wanted to globalize the game and he did, and in the effort to attract softees from across the pond, he made the league soft.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by torocan View Post
    Funny thing about this is the Spurs is one of the leaders in the stats movement. They are among the forefront in health analytics, line up analytics, and player analysis. They were one of the first teams to implement SportsVu and use advanced health monitoring tools.

    The Spurs aren't tough or soft because of analytics. They use analytics because they're smart.

    And they're tough because Pops is tough and doesn't take crap from anyone, no matter how big the star.
    Bingo. He's using the Spurs who routinely use "soft" bigs like Diaw and Bonner whose strengths are their passing skills and perimeter shooting. He doesn't know what he's talking about. These guys from the 90s are all just fantasizing about their playing days and trying to feel good about themselves. Like today's players couldn't cut in the rough and tough times. Meanwhile, a space clogger like Oakley who never developed an offensive game would have a worse time fitting in modern era. Rich Man's Reggie Evans.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnicksorBust View Post
    Bingo. He's using the Spurs who routinely use "soft" bigs like Diaw and Bonner whose strengths are their passing skills and perimeter shooting. He doesn't know what he's talking about. These guys from the 90s are all just fantasizing about their playing days and trying to feel good about themselves. Like today's players couldn't cut in the rough and tough times. Meanwhile, a space clogger like Oakley who never developed an offensive game would have a worse time fitting in modern era. Rich Man's Reggie Evans.
    If your gonna trash a legend of Knick folklore, at least be accurate. Oakley had a Kurt Thomas-esque automatic jump shot. Space clogging Reggie Evans? Come on guy, you should be ashamed for that one...

  12. #12
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    I wouldn't go and say players are soft - I think basketball players will always adapt to the times. The league is soft, and the players are the ones out there playing the game within the scope of the league's vision.

  13. #13
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    Charles Oakley has a polar bear carpet in his room

    The bear isn't dead its just afraid to move...


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by D-Leethal View Post
    If your gonna trash a legend of Knick folklore, at least be accurate. Oakley had a Kurt Thomas-esque automatic jump shot. Space clogging Reggie Evans? Come on guy, you should be ashamed for that one...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnicksorBust View Post
    The only thing laughable is your remembrance of Oak. Guy averaged 15ppg one season and double figures in 10 of them. His jumper was a weapon.
    Last edited by D-Leethal; 04-11-2014 at 09:24 AM.

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