The New York Knicks and owner James Dolan are facing near-universal condemnation for their treatment of Oakley, one of the most beloved and revered players in franchise history. "But Michael Jordan, from what I'm told, was unable to reach Charles Oakley because, by that time, Charles Oakley had been arrested and removed from the Garden and had his cell phone confiscated at the time", Smith said.
Some players expressed outrage by the Knicks' statement about the incident: "Charles Oakley came to the game tonight and behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner".
According to the New York City Police Department, Oakley, 54, was charged with three counts of assault for hitting security guards and criminal trespassing. The Knicks' statement from last night including that "we hope he gets some help soon" seems to be a bit excessive and unnecessary.
"I asked why and he said, 'You have to leave because someone ordered you to leave.' I [told him], 'I am a Knicks fan, I've been here four and a half minutes, I played here for 10 years, I love the Knicks, I love NY". While Ewing was the franchise star and the captain, Oakley was the enforcer and for a time, was the co-captain of the Knicks along with Ewing, and with good reason.
Dolan is named as a defendant in a massive lawsuit filed by team executive Anucha Browne-Sanders after she was sacked while claiming that former Knicks coach/GM Isiah Thomas had sexually harassed her. The New York Rangers hosted and beat the Nashville Predators, 4-3, but the Knicks' contentious handling of Oakley was still the subject du jour.
Oakley, who purchased a ticket to the Knicks' game, was attempting to approach Knicks' owner James Dolan. "It will be the imagine of him being taken down to the ground last night in the same arena he gave his all 2 as a player by the guards!"
It may have been the most visible blemish on the 18-year tenure for Dolan.
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The incident was such a social media firestorm and many had opinions on including LeBron James via his Instagram account. "I wish them all the luck and success on the basketball court, I don't know why I am not welcome at the Garden'". He said he just wanted to watch the game. (If the Knicks meant Oakley had an) anger issue... the anger issue is what made the Knicks what they were.... The New York fans appreciate what Oakley did when he was on the team from 1988-1998. Honestly, the players could see me.