Charles Oakley Says NBA Players These Days “Don’t Play With Their Heart”

Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images Even on a night when the Raptors honored him, Charles Oakley was tough as ever, saying the NBA features "more bad games than good games these days."
Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Even on a night when the Raptors honored him, Charles Oakley was tough as ever, saying the NBA features “more bad games than good games these days.”

The NBA isn’t what it used to be. Just ask Charles Oakley.

Oakley was honored by the Raptors on Friday, but the power forward who also played for Chicago, New York, Washington and Houston in a career that stretched from 1985-2004 had little good to say about today’s game.

“Who do I like watching? It’s hard to watch,” he said. “I don’t know, it’s just, it’s a different game. It’s some good games and a lot of bad games. More bad games than good games these days.”

Oakley, who had a brief stint as an assistant in Charlotte from 2010-11, said that experience informed his perspective.

“Everybody says the game has changed, instead of talking about the guys I got a chance to see ’em first hand,” he said. “It was kind of bad.”

Oakley — who knew a thing or two about toughness during his playing days — said, in part, players’ mindsets have changed.

“The mind is not — you don’t have to be strong to play this game no more,” he said.

“I don’t know what it is. They just roll you out there like a basketball. That’s why … you see the same teams in the finals or winning 55 games. Strong teams, strong-minded coach. Just the players, they don’t think it, they don’t know how to play together,” he said. “So that’s one of things I see the weakness is: Communication, the guys don’t love the game. They play the game, but they don’t play with their heart.”

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SOURCE: ESPN

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