His game actually reflected that mood: Oakley was scoreless with only four rebounds in 29 minutes as Chicago (1-11) dropped a 78-71 decision to the Knicks.
"We get paid no matter what happened," Oakley said. "Some people here got laid off, can't get jobs, they're shell-shocked. I feel sorry for the city of New York. I'm going to be okay, I've been blessed in a lot of ways. My feeling is for them now, not myself." Actually, Oakley has been quiet -- verbally and performance-wise -- since getting tagged with a $50,000 fine from the Bulls for his criticism of coach Tim Floyd. But he said he's going to stick it out in Chicago, and he won't ask Jerry Krause to trade him.
"I don't bail out. If it goes bad, I'm going bad with it," he said. "I ain't gonna say, 'Get me out of here because we're bad.' I know my obligation. I'm going to be here, and we'll all go down together.
"When I said something, everyone took it personally like I'm mouthing off, but I respect everything around me. I try to make things better. No coach ever said I was a disease to the team, I try to do the right thing. I might not say things they like, but hey, prices on Wall Street go up and down, and I don't like that."
Oakspeak of the day,on the state of the Knicks: "Hey, you get what you buy, you smoke what you get, let it burn."
Music historians are researching whether Jim Morrison said that first.
More Oakspeak,on the Knicks' identity: "They changed it. Like a recipe, they changed it. They wanted to make it another way, and it didn't come out. It's one of those things, somebody has a recipe for 20 or 30 years, and you went to see a psychic lady, and she tells you to do it like this. It ain't gonna work in this game."
Oak's response was as follows: "If he challenges our effort, he's got to challenge the way he does things, too. He got guys out there with different lineup changes every day. He makes lineup changes every day. The last two nights, the guys he rotated in [at small forward] got killed at the position. We just can't go out and throw one guy in one night and another guy in one night. We have to be more consistent. Any coach knows five substitutes don't work. I don't think you make a move like that this early in the season. They can trade me or whatever, but I'm going to speak my mind, because I've been around. Tim's been in this league for four years. He's just learning. He's in a situation where he doesn't have the talent other teams have. If we're not trying to win or trying to get to the playoffs, we might as well just play the young guys and get blown out by 50 every night."