Wednesday night started like most nights at Madison Square Garden. Fans filled the arena, bought souvenirs, food, and beer, settled into their seats and got ready for the main event. Only little did they know that they would be seeing a fight when they bought tickets to a basketball game.
A former Knickerbocker (1988-98) and fan favorite Charles Oakley wasn’t in his seat for more than 10 minutes before members of security and the NYPD forcefully removed him from the Garden. Oakley was then arrested and charged with three counts of assault.
Oakley, like Magic Johnson and Lakers part owner and head of basketball operations Jim Buss, has been very out spoken about his displeasure of Knicks owner James Dolan, which may have been the cause for this uncalled matter.
MSG security began to approach Oakley midway through the first quarter stating that he must leave the arena. According to the former NBA star, security said, “someone ordered you to leave” and began attempting to escort him out. That’s the moment when things got messy as you see security surround Oakley and put their hands on him first.
Oakley also said things escalated and got physical because he had felt threatened by a large number of security coming up to him and surrounding him.
There are always two sides to every story. One report says Charles Oakley was arguing with a fan while another says he was taking shots at Dolan, while he states he was doing absolutely nothing of the sort. So who is right? We will never truly know.
However, issue here is not about Oakley but about the Knicks and their ever continuing soap opera of a season. They entered their Christmas day game 16-13 and are 6-19 since, second worse to only the abysmal Brooklyn Nets.
Then there is the issue with Carmelo Anthony and what do with him. Do they trade him, and if so how because he has a no trade clause, or do they accept the fact he wants to stay in NY and let him play out his contract? Lastly, there is General Manager Phil Jackson and his unorthodox way of doing things that have fans unhappy.
And now they go ahead and disrespect an All-Star who not only was a former Knicks for 10 years, but a favorite amongst your fans!
But, to make things worse, the organization issued a statement on twitter after the game so petty, it would make Tom Petty want to change his name.
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) February 9, 2017
I think the problem with the NY Knicks is not the players, it’s not the coach, it could be the GM, but mostly it’s the owner. He is hiring the wrong people, he is making poor decisions on behalf of the organization, and does not know how to stop the leaking. I know he’s a billionaire and will never admit he is wrong, but Dolan needs to put on his big boy pants, swallow his pride, and sell the team.
Charles Oakley may have said something negative about Dolan at the game, he may not have, but in no way did he deserve to be forcefully removed and publicly humiliated/disrespected like that. You just don’t do that to a former player and fan favorite.
James Dolan, you should be ashamed of yourself.