Charles Oakley

Charles Oakley (born December 18, 1963) is an American former professional basketball player. Oakley was a member of the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets. A power forward, he consistently ranked as one of the best rebounders in the NBA. In 2017, he was confirmed to both play and coach the Killer 3's for the debut of the BIG3, a new basketball league focusing on 3-on-3 basketball.

Charles Oakley
Oakley in 2007
Personal information
Born (1963-12-18) December 18, 1963
Cleveland, Ohio
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High schoolJohn Hay (Cleveland, Ohio)
CollegeVirginia Union (1981–1985)
NBA draft1985 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9th overall
Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers
Playing career1985–2004
PositionPower forward / Center
Number34, 33
Career history
As player:
19851988Chicago Bulls
19881998New York Knicks
19992001Toronto Raptors
2001–2002Chicago Bulls
2002–2003Washington Wizards
2004Houston Rockets
As coach:
2010–2011Charlotte Bobcats (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points12,417 (9.7 ppg)
Rebounds12,205 (9.5 rpg)
Assists3,217 (2.5 apg)
Stats at

Early life and education

Born and raised in Cleveland, Oakley attended John Hay High School and Virginia Union University, a Division II historically black university in Richmond, Virginia.[1][2] As a senior in 1984–85, Oakley led Division II in rebounding with an average 17.3 per game.[1]


Chicago Bulls (1985–1988)

Oakley was drafted with the 9th overall pick in the 1985 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but his draft rights were traded to the Chicago Bulls. Oakley provided another scoring option and steady offensive and defensive performances to an up-and-coming Bulls squad led by Michael Jordan. He also assumed the role of the team "cop" whose duty primarily was to protect young Jordan against cheap shots and roughhousing tactics of opposing players. Oakley earned All-Rookie Team honors in 1986.[3]

New York Knicks (1988–1998)

With the drafting and development of Horace Grant, the Bulls traded Oakley to the New York Knicks for 7'1" center Bill Cartwright.[4] Oakley eventually became a part of the core which the Knicks built around, which also featured Patrick Ewing, John Starks, and point guard Mark Jackson. During the Knicks' 1994 season, which included a record 25 playoff games, Oakley started every regular season and playoff game for a record 107 starts in a single season. During his tenure with the Knicks, Oakley was primarily known as a defensive specialist.

Toronto Raptors (1998–2001)

In 1998, Oakley was traded by New York to the Toronto Raptors for blossoming star Marcus Camby.[5] For the Raptors, he provided a veteran presence to a young team that included Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady.

Return to Chicago (2001–2002)

In 2001, Oakley was traded by the Toronto Raptors with a 2002 2nd-round pick to the Chicago Bulls for Brian Skinner. This was his second tenure with the Bulls. Starting 36 of his 57 played games, he averaged 3.8 points per game, 6 rebounds per game, and 2 assists per game.[2]

Washington Wizards (2002–2003)

In 2002, Oakley signed as a free agent with the Washington Wizards. He was reunited with former teammate Michael Jordan. Oakley played 42 games during the 2002–03 season, averaging 1.8 points per game, 2.5 rebounds per game, and 1 assist per game.[2]

Houston Rockets (2004)

The 2003–04 season was Oakley's last season. On March 18, 2004, Oakley signed the first of two 10-day contracts with the Houston Rockets. Oakley only played 7 games, in which he averaged 1.3 points per game, 0.7 rebounds per game, and 0.3 assists per game.[2] At the end of the season, Oakley retired from the NBA.

Rumors of a return to the NBA

In 2007 Oakley was reported to be attempting an NBA comeback, at age 44. He claimed Dallas, Miami, Cleveland and New York were interested but said he would "not [come] back cheap".[6]

Post-playing career

On December 26, 2010, Oakley was hired as an assistant coach for the Charlotte Bobcats under then-head coach Paul Silas.[7]

He left that position on December 1, 2011 after experiencing health issues with back pain, during the 2010–11 season.[8]

Oakley owns several commercial enterprises, including:

  • Hair Solutions and Nails EtCetera in east Cleveland, Ohio, "salons started with seed money from Oakley and run by his sisters"[9]
  • Oakley's car wash, oil change, and detail centers in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn[10] and Yonkers, New York[11][12]
  • Oakley's Wash House, a combination car wash and laundromat Oakley founded in east Cleveland, Ohio, overseen by his sister Carolyn and mother Corine[9]
  • Red, The Steakhouse, restaurants in Cleveland, Ohio and South Beach, Miami, Florida[13]


Oakley was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in honor of his 19-year professional basketball career. The induction ceremony was held on April 30, 2016.[14]

In September 2016, a portion of Deering Street in Oakley's hometown of Cleveland (near his alma mater of John Hay High School) was renamed Charles Oakley Way in his honor.[15]

He was inducted into the CIAA Hall of Fame in 2005 after his career at Virginia Union University.

Career highlights

  • He placed in the top ten in rebounds per game five times between 1987 and 1994 (second in 1987 and 1988).
  • Due to his durability he actually placed in the top ten in total rebounds 6 times and led the league in total rebounds twice (1987 and 1988).
  • In 1994, he became an NBA All-Star and was chosen to the league's All-Defense 1st team.
  • Oakley currently ranks 25th all-time in NBA games played with 1,282 games,[16] and 22nd all-time in career rebounds with 12,205 rebounds.[17]

Personal life

In 2011, Oakley filed a lawsuit against the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, alleging a group assault by five security guards employed by the casino on May 28, 2010.[18] On July 30, 2016 Oakley married his wife Angela Reed.[19]

Madison Square Garden arrest

On February 8, 2017, Oakley was involved in an altercation at Madison Square Garden as the Knicks faced the visiting Los Angeles Clippers. According to the Knicks, Oakley was ejected from the arena after he is alleged to have yelled at James L. Dolan, the Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden and MSG Networks, and refused to stop, an allegation he denies.[20] There were also accounts of him hitting a security guard in his face and shoving another guard before being dragged away from the game and handcuffed. He was charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault and criminal trespassing. In a statement, the Knicks stated that Oakley "came to the game tonight and behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner. He was ejected and was then arrested by the New York City Police Department."[21]

In response, Oakley claimed that he sat down in his seat and he saw the Knicks owner James Dolan look at him and within four minutes he was being asked to leave the arena. He says that he didn't become combative until he was asked to leave for no apparent reason.[22] While admitting "I shouldn't have put my hands on anyone," Oakley disputed the Knicks' rendition of events in an interview with ESPN's "The Undefeated," which reported that Oakley says he "never said a word to Dolan" and "was minding his own business when he was confronted by Madison Square Garden Security, who asked why he was sitting so close to Dolan before demanding that he leave the building."[23]

On February 13, 2017, NBA legend Michael Jordan and NBA commissioner Adam Silver met with both Dolan and Oakley at NBA headquarters. Oakley and Dolan both apologized for the fallout and both were currently negotiating a truce. "Both Mr. Oakley and Mr. Dolan were apologetic about the incident and subsequent comments, and their negative impact on the Knicks organization and the NBA," Silver said. The statement says Dolan hopes Oakley can return to MSG as his guest in the near future. On February 14, 2017, the ban from Madison Square Garden was lifted.[24] On September 12, 2017, it was reported that Oakley was filing a civil lawsuit over the incident.[25]

Oakley later retorted on March 11, 2019 that Dolan is someone who tries to bully everyone because he has money and power as an owner of the Knicks, quoting that "it doesn't make sense."[26] He also admits he has very little reason to hold any reconciliation with Dolan, noting his relationship with the Knicks was frayed before the incident occurred (though he still bought himself tickets for Knicks games a few times each season before the incident), while also saying nothing was really resolved from his meeting with Adam Silver. Oakley further notes the incident caused a damaged relationship with the team, to the point where the possibility of his jersey being retired was in jeopardy. This all came out after Dolan threatened to ban a fan from the arena for yelling at him to "sell the team" a few days prior.[27]

NBA career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

1985–86 Chicago 773023.0.519.000.6628.
1986–87 Chicago 828136.3.445.367.68613.
1987–88 Chicago 828234.3.483.250.72713.
1988–89 New York 828231.8.510.250.77310.
1989–90 New York 616136.0.524.000.76111.
1990–91 New York 767436.0.516.000.78412.
1991–92 New York 828228.2.522.000.7358.
1992–93 New York 828227.2.508.000.7228.
1993–94 New York 828235.8.478.000.77611.
1994–95 New York 504931.3.489.250.7938.
1995–96 New York 535133.5.471.269.8338.
1996–97 New York 808035.9.488.263.8089.
1997–98 New York 797934.6.440.000.8519.
1998–99 Toronto 505032.9.428.200.8077.
1999–00 Toronto 808030.4.418.341.7766.
2000–01 Toronto 787735.5.388.224.8369.
2001–02 Chicago 572624.3.369.167.7506.
2002–03 Washington 42112.2.418.8242.
2003–04 Houston 703.6.333.833.
Career 1,2821,15931.4.471.253.7619.
All-Star 1011.0.3333.


1986 Chicago 329.3.524.61510.
1987 Chicago 343.0.380.500.83315.
1988 Chicago 1037.3.440.000.87512.
1989 New York 933.2.479.500.66711.
1990 New York 1033.6.5121.000.65411.
1991 New York 3333.3.476.50010.
1992 New York 121229.5.379.7419.
1993 New York 151533.8.481.72711.
1994 New York 252539.7.477.77511.
1995 New York 111138.3.450.400.8248.
1996 New York 8838.5.500.333.6948.
1997 New York 101035.8.442.000.7598.
1998 New York 101034.2.408.9208.
2000 Toronto 3336.7.483.286.0007.
2001 Toronto 121232.6.435.375.8246.
Career 14435.5.459.366.75510.

See also


  1. "Charles Oakley Bio". NBA. Archived from the original on October 10, 2004. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  2. "Charles Oakley Stats -". Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  3. "Year by Year All Rookie Teams". NBA. December 19, 2013. Archived from the original on May 30, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  4. "Bill Cartwright traded to Bulls for Oakley". NY Times. December 19, 2013.
  5. "Knicks Part With Oakley to Get Toronto's Camby". NY Times. December 19, 2013.
  6. "Stein: Is coming out of retirement the new fad?". August 25, 2007. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  7. "Bobcats Announce New Assistant Coaches". NBA. December 26, 2010. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012.
  8. "Bobcats want Maggette to take up scoring slack". Charlotte Observer. December 11, 2011. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013.
  9. Taylor, Phil (January 24, 2000). "Vault: Tower of Power Ground-bound Raptors forward Charles Oakley made his name under the boards with his elbows and his heart. What goes on in his head is a mystery". Sports Illustrated.
  10. Bragg, Chris (May 26, 2014). "Car-wash owners hit bumpy 'Road'". Crain's New York Business.
  11. "After Years of Clearing Boards, Charles Oakley Takes to Buffing Cars". The New York Times. November 1, 2011.
  12. Walters, John Walters (February 10, 2017). "Knick Owner James Dolan Fires His Security Chief in Wake of Charles Oakley Ejection". Newsweek.
  13. Sarmento, Mario. "Red, The Steakhouse, attracts LeBron, D-Wade". ESPN. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  14. "Charles Oakley Inducted into Virginia Sports Hall of Fame". May 1, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  15. "NBA All-Star Charles Oakley says 'it's a special honor' on street dedication". Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  16. "NBA & ABA Career Leaders and Records for Games |". Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  17. "NBA & ABA Career Leaders and Records for Total Rebounds |". Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  18. Green, Steve (May 13, 2011). "NBA's Charles Oakley sues Aria, security officers over alleged 'beatdown'". VegasInc. Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  19. IMDB. "Angela Reed IMDB". IMDB. IMDB. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  21. "Charles Oakley arrested at Madison Square Garden for altercation with security guard". Sports Illustrated. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  23. Mike Wise, "Former New York Knick Charles Oakley recounts his side of the arrest at Madison Square Garden," February 9, 2017,
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