Charles Oakley: Kristaps Porzingis was ‘wrong’ to skip exit meeting
He may have his disagreements with New York Knicks ownership, but that’s not stopping Charles Oakley from telling it like it is.
In a Friday interview with the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy, the retired great criticized Kristaps Porzingis for skipping his year-end exit meeting.
“He’s wrong for that. You can’t do that,” said Oakley. “Not being two years in the league and you’ve been on the team two years and won 32 and 31 games. I mean, you don’t do that. Especially when you’re in town [at the same time the meeting was supposed to take place]. You don’t do that. That’s wrong.”
Porzingis’ decision to blow off the April meeting appeared to be the primary driving force behind team president Phil Jackson’s sudden public willingness to trade the 21-year-old before the draft. But Oakley was also somewhat critical of Jackson’s handling of the entire situation.
“[Porzingis] should tell [Jackson] himself, ‘That’s why you got a mouth,’” he continued. “All they can do is trade you or keep you. But you got to realize that you have an opinion too. You can’t worry about what they will do. But all you can do is tell them to respect you. When they disrespect you, you have a right to say something to them. If you disrespect them, they have a right to say something to you. You can’t be sensitive. It’s a two-way street.”
In truth, dangling Porzingis now seems like more of an image-based play by the Knicks than anything. But as their treatment of Oakley himself can attest to, their issues as a franchise run much, much deeper.