Tough Enough? Got Oak?

Bryan Colangelo made a clear and bold statement after this season. He declared what had been said in the fan base for a long time. This team was not tough enough. So he has gone about changing that this off-season. The most obvious of those moves was his first move in bringing in Reggie Evans for Jason Kapono. Jason had that laid back almost surfer dude approach to life. While Evans is a guy that brings his lunch box to work everyday. I would not expect there is sushi or anything you would find on the menu in the corporate seats at the ACC in that lunch bucket. What defines, what Reggie Evans is all about, is a game where he snagged 20 rebounds and recorded 0 points. Evans knows his role and accepts it freely.

Colangelo would also continue to add some toughness with his draft pick Demar DeRozan. He also was able to bring in Antonie Wright as part of that trade that brought in Hedo Turkoglu to the Raps. Jarrett Jack also was signed and is an upgrade in defense and toughness at the point. This was very lacking last year. Not to mention the Raptors welcomed back tough and gritty former point guard Alvin Williams. He was a selection of Jay Triano to add some toughness to the coaching staff as well.

But with the news a couple days ago that Charles Oakley wants to coach in the league that got people talking. Oakley for years has been the poster boy for when the Raptors were tough. He was the guy who was not afraid to speak his mind about anything. From his belief that 75% of the league were marijuana users, to calling out the team's star at the time Vince Carter. He also once famously popped a guy at a shoot around. Oakley is probably one of the most loved all time players for both both Raptors and Knicks fans.

Jeff Van Gundy in an interview once said that Oakley was the smartest player he has ever coached in the game. High praise from a guy that does not just hand out complements. It is also proof that he just might make a heck of a coach. It sure makes better sense than appearing on the Spike show Pros vs Joes. I can't help but feel sad for any player I see appearing on that show. I think that is like hitting rock bottom in your sporting career no matter what the sport.

Mark Cuban has taught us that there is no limit on the number of coaches you can have. There is no cap to worry about in terms of coaches. I found it so curious why the Raptors seem to have no interest. Why not? If the goal in to get tougher, be better on D, and have some accountability does Oakley not address all of that. He did as a player. Could he not do the same as a coach?

The word is that the Knicks maybe where he wants to land. However why not make a pitch to get him back in Toronto. People don't seem to like when I mention the concept of PR. But there is no question it is a slam dunk in that aspect. However based on all of the that I have said above it may make solid basketball sense as well.

Would Toronto not welcome Oakley back with open arms? MLSE can not really use a tax or a cap and an excuse not to get this done. Sadly it looks like it will not happen. Just another chapter to the Charles Oakley legend in Toronto. What if we had brought in Oakley as a coach? I have no doubt that Oakley could develop into a very good coach. The toughest thing for him to learn will be how to tone down his over the top personality. If you thing Sam Mitchell was over the top at times. Imagine what a Charles Oakley presser might look like after a bad loss? Oh the entertaining possibility much more entertainment than a Terrell Owens reality show or a Starbury Ustream that never ends.

Just want to thank everyone for what was a big day for Dino Nation Blog yesterday. It is really cool when the blog does something big like that. Anytime that happens I get a lot of folks that offer me some praise and get to chat with a lot of my readers. The support of you folks that have found and come back on a daily basis is humbling and greatly appreciated. If you found it through Facebook, Twitter or on The Score.com or somewhere else does not matter. The fact that you read each day and show me both kindness and love is, it also is motivating to keep me working hard not just for myself but for you.

Someone who has shown me a lot of kindness is going to be my guest in the Starting 5 later this afternoon...The Coach...Jack Armstrong. I will be talking with him late this afternoon so you can expect to see that interview up and posted sometime this evening. We have a ton to talk about with all the changes made by this team. Looking forward to it.


  1. Bringing Oak back would be a good idea, but according to Doug Smith the coaching positions are all full, which may explain the lack of interest.

  2. The team already announced it was done adding to the coaching staff for before the season. With Alvin already on the staff and him being younger than a rather outspoken and sometimes difficult Charles Oakley, I think Williams deserves his shot as an assistant coach for the Raps first since he is already on the staff. Maybe Oak should try coaching on the college level first, prove he can do it steady and when he is ready for his big break, then the Raps try to help him out.

  3. I understand what you guys are saying. However there is no limit to number of people on a staff and IF they wanted to the Raptors could add Oakley. Just was throwing out the idea and some thoughts on it.

  4. Great post James.

    I think you want to keep a manageable staff - esp since Oak is such a big personality.

    I'd like another idea - bring him in on contract - likely largely around training camp to focus exclusively on rebounding.

  5. I think the Raptors Should Add Oakley to the Staff. Could you imagine, we have Alvin Williams anddd Oakley together back on the RAPTORS? that would be sooooo amazing!

    I want Oak back! This idea needs more publicity. Promote it further guys! Spread the Oakness! Hurry!

    Go Raps! Go B.C. Go TORONTO!