Atlanta Hawks: 5 legends for Onyeka Okongwu to study over the offseason

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
5 of 6
Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks (Photo credit should read KIMBERLY BARTH/AFP via Getty Images) /

NBA legend for Atlanta Hawks center Onyeka Okongwu to study No. 4) Charles Oakley

The only non-Hall of Fame player on this list, Charles Oakley is still a legend in the NBA. Ask any fan of the New York Knicks from back in the Patrick Ewing glory days and they will tell you how important Oakley’s play was to those NBA Finals runs.

What to like about Oakley’s game compared to Okongwu’s is that he was a 6’8″ power forward/center who was a defensive specialist. He was also capable offensively if despite having a limited range and not being the primary or secondary option on the team.

During his prime, Oakley made a living on the offensive glass, not averaging less than 3.0 per game for the first 12 seasons he played in the league. This is how he was able to make such a valuable contribution to the Knicks winning seasons at that end of the floor.

On the defensive end, Oakley was able to give Ewing a break as he was a two-time All-Defensive team member. Okongwu has the potential to play a similar role for John Collins, Danilo Gallinari, and Johnson to help the team out, giving them a rest defensively in order for them to produce more offensively.