The Toronto Raptors forward told the New York Post that many young forwards have lost respect for the game and said that more than half the players in the league smoke marijuana.
"You got guys out there playing high every night," Oakley told the New York Post prior to Toronto's 113-11 loss to the New Jersey Nets.
When Oakley began his NBA career in Chicago in 1985, he said that about one out of six used the drug. That number has dramatically increased over the years.
Toronto Raptors forward Charles Oakley says more than half the players in the NBA smoke marijuana. (CP/Frank Gunn)
"You got 60 percent of your league on marijuana," Oakley said, a sense of disgust in his voice. "What can you do?
"In the old days Michael Jordan and Larry Bird worked for everything they got," Oakley said. "They worked hard on their game. You've got young guys now, they don't work on their game like that.
"Everybody rolls the red carpet out, and here they come running down it in a Bentley or Rolls Royce as if it's their time, but it's not like that."
The 37-year-old forward also criticized the NBA's drug program, which he called a joke.
According to the drug program, rookies are tested three times while veterans are tested only once a year.
"You test a guy, he gets high the next day," Oakley said. "There's no respect for the game no more."
Oakley's comments on Wednesday drew a reaction from NBA commissioner David Stern, who is concerned about the league's image.
"If Charles has any facts to back up these very serious allegations, he should turn them over to the league as well as to Billy Hunter and the executive council of the union."