Thursday , Nov , 05 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Charles Oakley: Teams Don’t Want to Pay Me to Coach

Charles Oakley is developing a cooking show for TV and producing a couple of movies. He’s a restaurateur and a car-wash mogul. But what he’d really like to be is an NBA coach.

So why, six years after he retired from the league, has the former Raptors forward – who made a name for his uncanny grasp of the game’s defensive intricacies – never counted himself a member of an NBA coaching staff?

"Teams don’t want to pay," Oakley was saying in the lead-up to his appearance Wednesday night at the Air Canada Centre, where he was feted with a warm ovation during the first quarter of the Raptors’ 110-99 win over the Pistons.

Money has always been central to Oakley’s value system; he grew up poor in East Cleveland and sees the green as the ultimate sign of respect. But surely there’s more to his absence from the league than the insufficiency of NBA assistant coach’s salaries, which can range from $100,000 to quite a few times that much.–feschuk-oak-eyes-planting-roots-in-coaching-ranks