"...There is no communication on defense," Oakley, the former Knicks power forward, said Saturday over the telephone. "They don't dive on the floor for the ball. They should be getting five to six charges a night. But I don't see that.Nothing materialized because the organization loves Herb Williams, who caught the brunt of a Nate Robinson tirade the other day on the sideline.
"I'm going to put this on the players because it's up to them to fight every night. The coach can't fight for you. You can't just let teams get layup after layup."
When Oakley was reminded that most of the Knicks are in the last year of their respective contracts and probably won't be around next season, Oakley said that should give the team more incentive to play hard. "They're getting paid, right?" Oakley said. "My thing is, if they want a contract next season they should start playing for one right now."
Oakley has made it clear that he'd like to coach in the NBA. There were preliminary talks between Oakley and Walsh about a possible position but nothing ever materialized. Oakley is considering running a big man's camp during the offseason because "I feel I can help. It's not for the money."
Here's my deal. Oak is my favorite All-Time Knick. Bar none. As a kid, he lived around the corner from my buddy who was the team's ball boy and whose family used to car sit for him. He had a sick souped-up Explorer (and a benz) with a remote control for the stereo. I had never seen that before. I met him a dozen times and he watched some of my high school team's summer league games. He once complemented me on an alley oop i threw while we were eating pizza.
My hesitation to get after D'Antoni's system at this point is because I don't want to make this about the 1990s Knicks. They couldn't score in the half court at times and stood around far too often watching Ewing get deep in the shot clock. But defensively, you, as a fan, had as much pride as they did. No one was coming into our house and pushing us around.
But it was a different era then, I'd I think it's essential that fans understand that the game has changed. Yes, defense is still a staple and I can understand if there are reservations about D'Antoni, I'm just not ready to give up on him because I want the Riley and Van Gundy days back.