Charles Oakley Says Today’s NBA Players ‘Don’t Play With Their Heart’

by March 15, 2015

Charles Oakley was known as one of the most emotional players in the League during his NBA career. Oak played for Chicago, New York, Toronto, Washington and Houston. But he isn’t too keen on today’s NBA. The Raptors honored him on Friday, when he decided to share his thoughts on the mindset of current players. Oakley said the NBA is “hard to watch” now because guys don’t play “with their heart.” Word?

The full quotes, from ESPN:

“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.”