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Rockets sign Oakley to 10-day contract
Updated: 2004-03-19 09:13

Charles Oakley signed a 10-day contract with the Houston Rockets on Thursday, giving coach Jeff Van Gundy another player from his New York Knicks days.

Veteran NBA power forward Charles Oakley, center, is surrounded by members of the media after practice Thursday, March 18, 2004, in Houston. Oakley has signed with the Houston Rockets. [AP]
The 40-year-old power forward hasn't played all season, but that did not deter Van Gundy.

"I know him; I trust him," Van Gundy said. "He knows how hard you have to play to win in this league."

Oakley, 6-foot-9 and 245 pounds, hopes to toughen the Rockets in their drive for the playoffs.

"Every team needs to let the other team know that no matter what happened with the score they are not going to be a pushover," he said. "I'm coming here to bring some energy and extra power."

Oakley started with Chicago, playing three years for the Bulls before his trade to the Knicks in 1988. He spent a decade with the Knicks, then was traded to Toronto.

He played three years with the Raptors and returned to the Bulls in a trade. After one season in Chicago, Oakley reunited with former Bulls teammate Michael Jordan by signing as a free agent with Washington in October 2002.

Oakley is the latest ex-Knick to team with the former New York coach. In January, point guard Mark Jackson signed with the Rockets. Patrick Ewing is an assistant coach with Houston.

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