Former NBA player and NY Knicks legend Charles Oakley is one of the most real and toughest players in NBA history and a guy who was never afraid to share his opinion about specific topics. Oakley made a guest appearance on the 'James Posey Podcast', where he talked about multiple things from his illustrious 19-year-long NBA career. Oakley played in an era when they were several really tough and hard-nosed teams because that was the type of environment in the league if you wanted to win. You had to be a real alpha dog to make your presence felt, which was always the case for Oakley, who commanded significant respect among the NBA players.
Even though Oakley was recognizable and a valuable player on every team he played for, it took him a few years to gain that respect in the league, especially considering he came to the NBA from a small division II school. Oakley argues it took patience and humility to get the respect of older players. On top of that, he knew his role well on the team and what he needs to do to help his team win, which according to Oakley, is the biggest thing players are missing today.
Oakley argues players nowadays lack patience and fundamentally knowledgeable of their roles within the team. That was an essential part if you wanted to be a successful NBA player back in the day, and it seems that type of behavior is gone in the league today. Oakley says big-time players like LeBron and Durant have a deep understanding of their roles within their teams, which inherently enables them to be successful.
I always played to make people better. I understood the game at an early age. I didn't know if I'll be in the league, but I had to be patient. That is what is wrong with the NBA nowadays. Guys are not patient, and they don't understand their role. Everybody can't score, but they are shooting shots, and that is different. That is why guys like LeBron, KD, Curry a few guys it's hard to say something about them because every year, they show their leadership and understand the IQ of the game.
Charles Oakley, via BasketballNews
Even though Oakley criticizes how some players conduct themselves, he is not one of those old-school players who are only here to share negativity. Oakley was always very vocal about the good things in the game today, and he respects multiple players in the NBA now. However, not everything within the league is great, and Oakley points out those aspects that need improvement. Whether he is right or wrong depends on how you look at things, but it's apparent the game is much different than it was 20 or even ten years ago and is continuously evolving.