To many people, Charles Oakley is living the American dream, the good life, and, in some parallel universe, it might be the perfect life. A native of hardscrabble Cleveland, Oakley rose from All-American status at Virginia Union University, a historically black NCAA Division II university in Richmond, to become one of the most ferocious rebounders and reliable defenders in NBA history, having his best years with the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks.

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