Throwback Thursday - Charles Oakley
Charles Oakley, a former power forward, was a member of the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets. He consistently ranked as one of the best rebounders in the NBA.
With the Bulls Oakley provided another scoring option and steady defensive performances to an up-and-coming Bulls squad led by Michael Jordan. He also assumed the role of the team "cop" whose duty was to protect young Jordan against cheap shots and roughhousing tactics of opposing players. Oakley earned All-Rookie Team honors in 1986.
With the drafting and development of Horace Grant, the Bulls traded Oakley to the Knicks for 7'1" center Bill Cartwright. Oakley became a part of the core which the Knicks built around, which featured Patrick Ewing, John Starks, and 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.
As recently as 2007, it was rumoured that Oakley, at age 44, wanted to make an NBA comeback. He claimed Dallas, Miami, Cleveland and New York were interested but said he would "not [come] back cheap". Oakley currently ranks 18th all-time in NBA games played with 1,282 games, and 21st all-time in career rebounds with 12,205 rebounds.