More than a year since Charles Oakley suffered a sciatic nerve condition in a run-in with Las Vegas security, the former Knicks power forward says he's still in some pain and may not return to the Charlotte Bobcats bench -- if the NBA lockout is resolved.
Over the summer, Oakley, who finished his first season as an assistant coach, underwent surgery to address the back pain he was experiencing, which came from a May 2010 incident at the Aria Resort & Casino. According to the Associated Press, the complaint contended five officers wrestled the 6-foot-9 Oakley to the ground and punched and handcuffed him after a verbal dispute over whether Oakley could return to a VIP pool area. It said Oakley was taken to the hospital with injuries to his neck, back, head and wrist.
Oakley, who may go under the knife yet again -- this time for a growth on his arm that keeps coming back -- says he's "up in the air" about committing to work for a team run by one of his longtime friends and former teammates, Michael Jordan. That's because Oak wants to teach by being on the court; not by yelling instructions from the sidelines.
"I don't want to be out there if I can't be 100 percent," Oakley said. "I want them to give me their full attention. I don't want to have them second guessing me if I can't tell them what to do. I think that's the most important thing to the game. A lot of coaches cut corners; they're not really giving details. They're trying to talk details; you've got to show them the details. You've got to be on the floor. We're losing what our game is really about; it's about going out, playing hard and knowing what you're doing."
While the collective bargaining agreement negotiations continued, Oakley launched a signature apparel line with K1X last week at the German-based company's store in New York City's SoHo district. Oakley joins Los Angeles Lakers small forward Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) and basketball legend World B. Free as one of K1X's main endorsers.
Oak is also in the process of finalizing another apparel deal with Cleveland, Ohio-based Cocktail Collection, pitching a sports meets cooking talk show with ex-New Jersey Net Jayson Williams, and executive producing two films, "Joy Road" and "Pastor Brown."
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