NBA Roundtable

Excellent Article By Feschuk On Oakley

In General NBA on November 4, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Here’s the link … and some of Oakley’s thoughts:

On Butch Carter, former Raptors coach

“Butch is probably one of the best coaches, as far as Xs and Os, that I’ve been around. I’d put him up there with Pat Riley. He knows the game. Unfortunately, some things happened. But I think he can come back in this league and be a great coach. People learn from their mistakes. That’s what the NBA needs … they need coaches like Butch Carter. He had game plans. He’d be great for Cleveland. LeBron, if he’s a 10 now, his game would go up two or three levels. Look what Butch did for Vince Carter.”

On Vince Carter’s early success in Toronto

“It was all Butch. Butch got in his ear and told him, `Do you know what you have with you? You’ve got some guys who care for you and are going to look out for you.’ Me, Antonio (Davis), Kevin (Willis), we said, `Hey, Vince, we got your back.’ Vince would have never excelled the way he did if it wasn’t for Butch and some of the guys on the team, because we kept pushing him. We said, `You’re better … shoot as much as you want. We rebound. We set the picks. We keep guys off of you. They hit you, we’re gonna hit one of them. It’s like baseball. That was my attitude – if you’re my teammate, you’ve got nothing to worry about.”

On today’s Raptors

“You ain’t going nowhere with 7-footers shooting three-pointers. You can’t put four or five scorers on the floor at one time. You can, but you ain’t going nowhere. You got four or five scorers on the floor, ain’t enough shots in a game, in a quarter, for everybody to be consistent. You need your two scorers, outside threat and a post-up threat. You need your sixth man who can score. You need another guy that can just be an all-around energy guy, and you need another guy who can just, you know, play basketball.”

Jeff Van Gundy on Oakley

“The type of guy Charles was – with the basketball IQ that was off the charts, and the toughness, and the physical play – it made him very rare in his day and totally extinct in today’s game,” said Jeff Van Gundy, the ESPN analyst who coached and coached against Oakley. “You just have so many guys now who care as much about being liked as being successful. Oakley just wasn’t that type of guy.”

Excellent stuff from Feschuk.

Edit: Another article with some choice Oakley quotes.

Oakley still arrived more than 15 minutes late for the media session, but it was worth the wait as he quickly warmed to a favourite topic – the audacity of today’s young NBA players.

“These days with these guys I don’t know if you can say too much to them without them breaking down and crying, like a girl,” Oakley said. “It is what it is.”

As for those talented Toronto teams he played on, which included such players as Carter, Antonio Davis and Tracy McGrady, Oakley said each of those players understood their specific roles, the reason the team was able to enjoy some moderate success.

“We said, Vince, you’re our lead singer,” Oakley said, warming to the memory. “Tracy, you’re our back singer. Everybody else is in the band. I’m playing drums, Tone [Antonio Davis] playing guitar. Somebody else is playing the flute.”

Update: Feschuk writes another Oakley article … saying that Oakley would like to venture into coaching.

In addition, there’s an excellent article from Eric Koreen in the National Post with several more quotes from Oakley. This article and original Feschuk article are the best of the bunch.

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