Charles Oakley labels Knicks owner a “bully” over fan row
Charles Oakley knows more than most about being ejected and banned from Madison Square Garden. The retired Knicks legend was infamously involved in an altercation in 2017, which saw him being hauled out of the iconic venue in handcuffs.
Accounts of how the incident came about vary depending on who you ask Oakley or Knicks owner and Executive Chairman of Madison Square Garden James Dolan. What is certain is that Oakley left the arena in handcuffs after getting into a scuffle with the security guards who were trying to eject him.
Now, the former Knicks star has weighed in after Dolan was caught on camera reacting to a fan who shouted that he should “sell the team” after yet another loss on Saturday.
“You really think I should sell the team?” asked Dolan on the video, before calling the fan rude and asking him if he wanted to attend any more games.
The owner then told the fan to “enjoy watching them on TV” and called security. According to an Associated Press report, it wasn’t currently clear whether the fan had actually been banned or not. The Madison Square Garden Company later said in a statement that its policy was that “if you are disrespectful to anyone in our venues, we will ask you not to return”.
Oakley says he has no desire for reconciliation
Oakley told the Associated Press: “He (Dolan) just tries to bully everybody and it just don’t make sense.
“He just bullies people because he has money and power.”
He added that he had no desire for reconciliation with Dolan.
“Why would I want to do it with someone who had me dragged out of the Garden for no reason,” he said. “Why would I want a relationship with him? I told him I wasn’t happy.”
Oakley spent a decade at the New York Knicks, playing mostly as a defensive specialist, between 1988 and 1998. He became part of the core that they built their team around, and in the 1994 season, which included 25 playoff games, he started every game for a record 107 starts in a season.
The Knicks are currently languishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a record of 13-54.
Words: Noah Hart