Charles Oakley went a little sideways on Monday and went on record blasting former New York Knicks teammate Patrick Ewing. He said Ewing was high maintenance and that he actually held the Knicks back rather than leading them. His rant was completely out of line.
During an appearance with Damon Amendolara on CBS Sports Radio, Oakley said Ewing wasn't the leader the Knicks needed:
Oakley is basically saying Ewing never stood up for his teammates with coaches or the media and just generally never spoke up. That, at least, is fair. Ewing was known for being a quiet guy. But saying he wasn't a leader and that he held the Knicks back is asinine.
Ewing was an 11-time All-Star and a seven-time All-NBA selection who is now a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. He dominated opponents on the court. During his 15 seasons in New York, Ewing averaged 22.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. He led through his performance.
There are different types of leaders in sports. Some lead with inspiring words, some lead by taking all the blame on themselves and shielding their teammates, and some lead through their play. Ewing was a leader on the court through the numbers he posted on a nightly basis.
The 56-year-old Oakley is clearly bitter about how his relationship with the Knicks has deteriorated. Later in the interview he discussed how he had lost respect for a lot of his former teammates because they still have a relationship with Knicks owner James Dolan.
His full interview can be found here.