This weekend at K1X in New York City, former Knick forward and fan favorite Charles Oakley introduced his new Vintage Oak Collection. In addition to showing off his clothing line, Oakley gave the media a few of his opinions on the Knicks:
On Stoudemire’s style of play: “He’s good in his own 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.”
On D’Antoni’s run-and-gun system: “I don’t think [it can be successful], 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.”
On Thomas getting a gig with the Knicks: “I don’t understand how he even got a job with management. 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.”
On the Knicks organization as a whole: “[The Knicks] don’t want nothing to do with me. 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 [Ewing], either. They won’t give Patrick a job, so I know they won’t give me a job…My door is always open to the Knicks. 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.'”
Oakley on STAT. I am going to defend Oakley here. People are saying he ripped Amar’e Stoudemire. He did not rip Stoudemire, read what he said. Where in that does he rip Stoudemire. I agree with what he said and looking back on Oakley’s era of when he played, those comments make sense. Back when Oakley played, the eastern conference was filled with rough defensive teams. The Bucks of the 80’s, the Bad Boys Pistons, the Bulls, the Pacers with the Davis Brothers. Oakley’s Knicks were the epitome of the tough defensive team. The Western Conference had teams such as the Showtime Lakers and the Run TMC Warriors. While there were good defensive teams in the West, the Eastern Conference was a whole other game. Those Knicks-Bulls and Knicks-Pacers games in the 90’s were black and blue affairs. Oakley is saying that this eastern conference today with Miami, Chicago, Orlando, Atlanta and Boston (all great defensive teams) is a different game then playing the more run and gun style of the Western Conference. He did not tear into Stoudemire, he basically said Stoudemire must cope to the East Coast style of play. Stoudemire obviously can play, but the bigger concern is can he stay healthy? That is what Oakley was alluding to and I do not believe he was ripping Stoudemire.
Oakley on D’Antoni. Personally, I agree that the style D’Antoni ran in Phoenix will not be successful in the Eastern Conference. I do believe however that D’Antoni is a great enough coach to change his style and be successful. As we saw last season, the Knicks offense changed to a slower, half court pace after the Melo trade. Obviously a trade of that magnitude was going to force the team to adjust and adjustments take time. As we saw in the playoffs, in which we should have won both games 1 and 2, D’Antoni’s system can work. It can work. Had we not been injured, I believe we take that series to 6 or 7 games. Take LeBron and Bosh off of Miami and see how many playoff games they win. That is basically what the Knicks had to deal with. I think if D’Antoni was given a couple more bench guys and a center, he would be very successful in New York. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your stance, he may never get that chance.
Oakley on Isiah. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I completely agree with what he said. Isiah had no ties to New York and should never have even been involved with the organization. I think the Oakman preached to the choir for most Knick fans when he said “he better turn around and walk the other way”. I hate Isiah Thomas. Most Knick fans hate Isiah Thomas. Not only was he disastrous on the basketball side but with the whole sexual assault case he was disastrous for the reputation of the organization. He was a joke, a clown, a buffoon. I am glad Oakley said that because that is what all Knick fans have been thinking for years.
Oakley on the organization. Once again I agree with the Oakman. Allan Houston is a part of the front office, why have Oakley and Ewing (assistant coaches for the Bobcats and Magic respectively) never been considered for a job? Like this offseason when the Knicks were looking for a defensive coach. Under what circumstances do Oakley and Ewing not even warrant an interview? Who better to coach defense then two of the best defenders in the history of the league. It is not like they are just on the street and doing nothing. They are assistants in the league today! Clearly they have some coaching ability. Why not consider bringing them back to the garden, where they made defensive basketball the trademark image of the 90’s Knicks, to coach defense. I am not saying the Knicks have to hire them but at least give them an opportunity to interview. How badly could it hurt? C’mon Dolan. Pay some respect to old Knick legends that helped globalize the Knicks. You have already done all you can to ruin this organization, why not do something to try and help it? Mike Woodson is a great guy and is a good guy for this job but would it kill you to at least take a look at Oakley and Ewing?Follow @tarmosino