Remember back, if you can, to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Boston Celtics were playing the Washington Wizards and there was a bit of a scuffle between Kelly Olynyk and Kelly Oubre Jr, the latter of which got suspended for shoving Olynyk and Boston fans got to boo and curse at him.
Do you remember that? Because Charles Oakley does not. He was too busy cooking.
Oak was featured in a Sports Illustrated piece about retired athletes and delivered a great line about the NBA playoffs, which apparently he wasn’t keeping very close tabs on.
Others have moved on. Oakley, for one, is now an aspiring chef and caterer. He came early to the Boca outing, entered the club’s kitchen, grabbed an apron and spent the morning making macaroni and cheese, ribs and greens. Told of a skirmish that day in the NBA playoff game between the Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk and the Wizards’ Kelly Oubre Jr., Oakley paused and appeared confused. “You’re telling me,” he said disbelievingly, “that there’s two mother——- in the league named Kelly?”
Oakley was likely playing for a laugh, and we know he pays attention to the league because he spoke about the modern game with LeBron James, Draymond Green, and others in their The Shop special on ESPN. But it’s a pretty remarkable paragraph all around. Oakley loves to cook, and he isn’t afraid to speak his mind.
The whole piece is really interesting and has some great moments from players you likely haven’t heard about in a while. Sports Illustrated has done some great work about former players in the last few months, and this is up there with its best.