Former New York Knicks forward Charles Oakley was arrested and charged with three counts of assault following an altercation in the stands near team owner James Dolan at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.
According to ESPN, Oakley was making comments towards Knicks owner James Dolan during last night’s game who then had Oakley escorted from the arena. That’s when things became testy between Oakley and security.
“What happened is me and four friends went to the game tonight, to watch the Knicks and Clippers. We did sit down, trying to have a good time. Next thing I know I was asked to leave the building,” Oakley said at a New York restaurant after his release. “I asked, ‘Why?’ and they said, ‘You have to leave because someone ordered you to leave.’ And I’m like, ‘I’ve been here four-and-a-half minutes.’
“I’m a Knicks fan, played here 10 years. I love the Knicks. I love New York. This is my heart. I wish them all the luck and success on the basketball court. I don’t know why I’m not welcome into the Garden.”
Knicks president Phil Jackson came out to try to calm down Oakley. Oakley was yelling about Dolan and at one point exchanged shoves with security. Oakley was later cuffed outside of the tunnel leading to the court.
“I stopped, and then there was an inbounds play on the side. I turned around just in time as he was handing it to him, and then there was a foul. I walked back to catch the third, fourth and fifth rounds,” Clippers forward Blake Griffin said. “It was crazy, man.”
“That was tough for me to watch,” Clippers coach DocRivers said. Rivers was a former teammate of Oakley’s.
“Honest to God, you could see it. I actually took three steps and I swear I was going to run down there, and I thought, ‘What the hell am I going to do?’ But I didn’t like that. That’s my guy. That was tough to watch from where I was standing.”
“He’s the best teammate in the world,” Rivers said. “He really is. Honestly, the players could see me. That was a tough thing to watch. I’ve been in the league a long time; I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Oakley later said he felt threatened by the security personnel.
“When someone is walking up on you, you’ve got to protect yourself in all matters,” Oakley said. “I’ve been in situations like this before. I’ve been jumped before. So in my mind, if you see eight, nine, 10 guys walking up on you, you’ve got to brace yourself and be ready for the challenge. That’s all I was thinking.”
“Charles Oakley came to the game tonight and behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner,” the Knicks wrote on Twitter. “He has been ejected and is currently being arrested by the New York City Police Department. He was a great Knick, and we hope he gets some help soon.”
Longtime Knicks fan and director Spike Lee has had enough of Phil Jackson’s tenure with the Knicks and seems to back disgruntled forward Carmelo Anthony who has been linked to numerous trade rumors and has a feud with Jackson.
“I’ll pack Phil’s bags for him,” Lee told Tencent-ESPN’s Steve Zeng.
“I think I still believe in Carmelo, but Phil Jackson is making it very difficult for him,” Lee told Tencent-ESPN on Wednesday.
Jackson’s tenure in New York has been a disaster and a borderline embarrassment but James Dolan seems intent on topping Jackson for most embarrassing mess in the organization.
Either way, Knicks fans have had enough with ownership and the front office and things are boiling over.