Charles Oakley was once one of the most ferocious rebounders and defenders in the NBA. Best known for his time with the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls, the former NBA All-Star might have to be a little more gentle in the coming weeks as he’s been named as one of the contestants on the latest season of the hit ABC show, Dancing With the Stars.
Since his playing days ended, he’s dabbled in coaching and also runs a number of successful businesses. But Oakley has also been a bit controversial at times. He’s had no problem running down the Knicks in interviews and was even arrested at Madison Square Garden following a highly-publicized altercation with team owner James Dolan.
Charles Oakley once again made headlines this past spring in blaming Patrick Ewing for New York’s failures against the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, which was a big topic during ESPN’s The Last Dance docuseries. But controversy is popular, which may be why ABC tapped him for Dancing With the Stars in the first place. Whatever the reason, he’s likely to get a decent paycheck from the show, which will only add to the millions he already has in the bank.
The NBA career of Charles Oakley
Charles Oakley was taken with the ninth overall pick in the 1985 NBA draft, the same draft in which Patrick Ewing was taken at No. 1, by the Cleveland Cavaliers. His draft rights were then traded to the Chicago Bulls, with whom he played three seasons. He was a secondary scoring option behind Michael Jordan and a solid defender but one of his primary roles became protecting Jordan against cheap shots from opposing players, which is why Jordan was so upset when he was traded to New York for Bill Cartwright in 1988.
Oakley spent 10 seasons in the Big Apple and was wildly popular with Knicks fans. He was named to his first and only NBA All-Star Game in 1993-1994, a season in which he played all 82 games in the regular season and 25 postseason games, setting a record for the number of games played in a single season with 107. Oakley was also named to the All-Defensive First Team that year.
Oakley was traded to Toronto in 1998 for Marcus Camby and spent three seasons with the Raptors before being traded back to the Chicago Bulls in 2001. In 2002, he reunited with Michael Jordan as a member of the Washington Wizards and then played seven games for the Houston Rockets during the 2003-2004 season before retiring. He showed an interest in returning to the league in 2007 at the age of 44 but nothing came of it.
In 1,282 career games, which is good for 28th on the all-time games played list, Charles Oakley averaged 9.7 points, 9.5 rebounds (he twice led the league in total rebounds), 2.5 assists, and 1.1 steals per game.
The former NBA All-Star is a contestant on season 29 of ‘Dancing With the Stars’
On September 2, 2020, Charles Oakley was announced as one of the contestants for season 29 of Dancing With the Stars. Former San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and Olympic skater Johnny Weir were the other two athletes announced for the season.
Also appearing in season 29 are Tiger King star Carole Baskin, rapper Nelly, actor Jesse Metcalf, Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe, Backstreet Boy AJ McLean, Cheer coach Monica Aldama, The Real co-host Jeannie Mai, actress Anne Heche, One Day at a Time star Justina Machado, Catfish host Nev Schulman, and Selling Sunset star Chrishell Stause.
How much is Charles Oakley worth?
Following his playing career, Charles Oakley was hired by Michael Jordan as an assistant coach of the Charlotte Bobcats ahead of the 2010-2011 season but spent just that lone season in that role. He resumed his coaching career in 2017 as the head coach of the Killer 3’s in the BIG3, a role he still holds to this day.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Charles Oakley is worth approximately $12 million.