Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the recent incident in which former Knicks star, Charles Oakley, was booted out of Madison Square Garden and arrested.
The scene where security guards tackled him to the ground was all over the news, and spurred a New York sized drama that hung over the Knicks franchise -- leadingin the wake of the mess.
Oakley’s supporters have stood by him. That includes former St. John’s and NBA center Jayson Williams, who told an interesting tale about how Oakley helped him out when he was looking for some cash in college.
Here’s the story from Williams’ interview CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones, where he detailed Oakley lending him some serious dough when he was s senior at St. John’s:
This is where we’re going to put the NCAA and St. John’s in trouble,” Williams said. “So, how we did it at St. John’s was when you were in your senior year, and the guys who made it before you goes to the NBA, that guy would give you, let’s call it like a loan so you don’t have to go out and get an agent or put St. John’s in any trouble with the NCAA. So when my year was up and I was a senior, it was Mark Jackson. Now if anybody knows Mark Jackson, Mark is the greatest human being on Earth – but cheap as the day is long. That man is so frugal.
Jackson was drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft, so when Williams entered his senior year in 1990, he thought he would benefit from the St. John’s tradition. But Jackson played him stiff when he asked for $15,000.
“After I came back about the fifth time, [Oakley] came over to me. I had never met him, always looked up to him, everybody wanted to be a Charles Oakley-type player. He said, ‘Come here, man. Once you ask somebody once and they ain’t going to give it to you, you don’t beg. What you do is follow me home after.’ Went home and he gave me 20 (and said) ‘When you get drafted, I’m going to want 25 back.’”
Williams, who played in the NBA for the 76ers and the Nets, became good friends with Oakley, who was one of the only guys who came to see Williams in prison, Williams said. Ever since that moment where he loaned him money, the two stayed in contact. Even if he was charging an arm and a leg in interest.
Said Williams: “He charged me mafia rates, but I didn’t get nobody in trouble and we’ve been friends ever since, man. That’s how we became friends, and we own a chain of car washes (and) steakhouses. Whatever business (we go in, we help each other).”