Charles Oakley (born December 18, 1963) Cleveland, Ohio is a 6' 9" former professional basketball player who played power forward and gained fame in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks in the early 1990s.
Oakley gained a reputation for being a hard-worker and tenacious rebounder for all of the teams he played for, especially the Knicks, where Charles played the role of partner to Patrick Ewing in the low post. Drafted in 1985 by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Charles' draft rights were immediately traded to the Chicago Bulls. There, Oakley provided another scoring option and steady offensive and defensive performances to an up-and-coming Bulls squad led by a young Michael Jordan.
With the drafting and development of Horace Grant, the Bulls traded Oakley to the New York Knicks for 7'1" center Bill Cartwright. Oakley eventually became a part of the core with which the Knicks built around, which also featured Ewing, John Starks, and point guard Mark Jackson. Oakley's hard work and physical play for the Knicks defense won the hearts of many loyal Knicks fans, making him a fan favorite.
In 1998, Oakley became one half of two controversial moves the Knicks made to get younger, as he was traded to the Toronto Raptors for 6'11" forward Marcus Camby. The other move saw Starks go to the Golden State Warriors for Latrell Sprewell. On the Raptors, he provided a veteran presence to a young team led by Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady. Oakley later played for the Bulls again, followed by the Washington Wizards and most recently the Houston Rockets. On the Rockets, he was briefly reunited with former Knick teammates Mark Jackson, who was the veteran point guard behind Steve Francis; Patrick Ewing, who was an assistant coach with the Rockets; and head coach Jeff Van Gundy, former head coach in Charles' days in New York City.