Thunder big man Steven Adams summons comparisons to Oakley and Barkley

Steven Adams, OKC Thunder (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)
Steven Adams, OKC Thunder (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images) /

With a recently released autobiography OKC Thunder big man Steven Adams summons comparisons to former players Charles Oakley and Charles Barkley.

OKC Thunder center Steven Adams recently released his autobiography which offers plenty of insight into his upbringing and journey in the NBA.

Notably different excerpts from the book Steven Adams: My life, my fight are in the news. That includes the New Zealand native’s notorious sense of humor, lack of filter and highlights his sense of team.

His comments about former OKC Thunder teammate Reggie Jackson speak to his distaste for prideful or selfish players.  Adams admission of his Pops Love (Gregg Popovich) point to his sense of humor as he noted smelling the Spurs coach’s hair upon his first up close encounter.

Yet, what the excerpts summoned for me was just how much Adams reminds of a previous era’s big men.

The Charles’ era:

Depending on how long ago you began watching the NBA your exposure to the games most charming personalities could be extensive. Mind you the older hoop heads (points finger at self) got to witness the Charles’ duo (Oakley and Barkley) back when the only insight to players off court persona’s occurred via local programming or post game interviews.

Younger fans still get to witness Sir Charles in the modern era, but the TV analyst version is a shadow of the larger than life persona Barkley was in his playing days. Gems like “God wants us to win” wouldn’t resonate on social media the way it did back then on live TV.

As for Oakley, it’s safe to say if the ‘Garden incident’ occurred during his playing days his ‘escorts’ would’ve been the ones licking wounds long after the melee.

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Still, both of these men are charming as heck and on many old school fans top five lists to share a cocktail with. Neither had the benefit of social media in their era. Although this might be an overstep, I’m not confident either would’ve used the medium. Furthermore, if social media had been a part of the Charles’ era  it’s almost a certainty they each would’ve landed in hot water for their candor and frankness.

For the new generation of players it takes a certain aptitude to navigate social media. So, when a player like Steven Adams who is cut from the same cloth as the Charles emerges it’s interesting he handles social media as adeptly as he does.

There is a clear similarity in this trio of males in that they all offer solid sound bites, are quick witted and considered excellent teammates. In this scribes experience people who can throw out humorous quips tend to be extremely intelligent. It’s my belief that’s the case with each of these men. Another commonality is the team leadership values they each share.

Note: one segment of the following video contains inappropriate language.

As Adams prepares for next season with the OKC Thunder his voice will take on an even larger presence in the locker room and on the court. That may seem like a precipitous position to put the big man in given his age and experience. Yet, Adams cut his teeth in the league with one of the best mentors in the business – Nick Collison. Moreover, his childhood offered experiences dealing with the unordinary as he grew up with 17 siblings.

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Fans who want to know more about the man from New Zealand can get an inside look at Adams via his autobiography Steven Adams – My Life – My Fight written by Madeleine Chapman.