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(NY Times, 7/1/98)
The Knicks tied up some loose ends yesterday before the NBA locked out its players at midnight. After the Toronto [Raptors] waived Charles Oakley's physical, the draft-day deal that sent Marcus Camby to the Knicks and Oakley to the Raptors became final.

"All you need is about seven or eight guys willing to go out every night, no matter what, rain or snow, to go out and perform," Oakley said during a conference call from Atlanta, where he was attending a charity golf tournament. "The league is not hard. People make it hard, but the league is weak compared to six or seven years ago."

Oakley, 34, takes his reputation as a tough, gritty player to Toronto, which finished 16-66 last season and was known for being soft. He is not worried that other teams will key on him as the Raptors' physical leader. "The problem is they have too many guys wearing dresses out there on the basketball court," he said. "They're protecting too many guys; you've got to be a man. I'm just going to play my game, like a fighter, a great fighter."