The Last Enforcer: Outrageous Stories from the Life and Times of One of the NBA’s Fiercest Competitors

Gallery. Feb. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781982175641. $28. SPORTS
Basketball fans will remember Oakley (b. 1963) as a rough-and-tumble defensive force for nearly 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association. Oakley’s unapologetic, uninhibited autobiography, written with journalist Isola (ESPN, SiriusXM), matches his dominant presence on the court. His career coincided with the NBA’s movement into mainstream entertainment, the mid-1980s into the 1990s and beyond. Oakley never holds back in describing his early life and college career, playing for the Chicago Bulls alongside Michael Jordan, his triumphs and disappointments with the New York Knicks, and his relationships with numerous superstars of his era. Of particular interest are his thoughts and experiences as a Black athlete, including his connection with police brutality victim George Floyd. Fondly remembered for his loyalty to teammates and his innovative defensive presence, Oakley’s stories bring back an era when basketball personalities and feuds were over the top and games were front-page news.
VERDICT With his uncanny knack for being present at many milestone NBA events throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, Oakley has a familiar name and career that’ll make this an attractive choice for sports fans and hoops aficionados. Recommended for public library collections with active sports collections.
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