Charles Oakley Files Civil Lawsuit over Madison Square Garden Incident

Joseph ZuckerFeatured Columnist

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 23:  Coach Charles Oakley of Killer 3s reacts during the game against the Ghost Ballers during week five of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at UIC Pavilion on July 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/BIG3/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Former New York Knicks forward Charles Oakley filed a civil lawsuit stemming from his ejection and arrest during a Knicks game Feb. 8.

Yaron Weitzman of Bleacher Report shared information from the filing Tuesday, outlining Oakley's allegations against James Dolan, Madison Square Garden Company and MSG Sports & Entertainment:

Weitzman also noted there are 10 "causes of action" in the suit, with libel, slander, assault, battery and false imprisonment among the allegations.

ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ian Begley first reported Oakley would file the lawsuit. The Knicks later released a statement in response to the lawsuit, via Weitzman, "This is a frivolous lawsuit and nothing more than another attempt by Mr. Oakley to garner attention. We will deal with this accordingly."

In the first quarter of a game between the Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers, Oakley got into an altercation with security personnel at Madison Square Garden. He was then handcuffed and arrested before being removed from the arena.

ABC 7's Ryan Field reported the New York City Police Department charged Oakley with three counts of assault, and Begley reported Oakley faced a criminal trespassing charge as well.

Oakley accepted a plea agreement in August in which the charges will be dropped as long as the 19-year NBA veteran isn't arrested for six months. As part of the agreement, he also has to stay away from Madison Square Garden.

In the aftermath of Oakley's arrest, the Knicks were criticized for a pair of statements in which they placed the blame for the incident squarely on Oakley:

Dolan also speculated in an interview on The Michael Kay Show (h/t For The Win's Adi Joseph) that Oakley may have been under the influence of alcohol.

Oakley told the New York Daily News that MSG security personnel were the instigators.

"I was there for four minutes," Oakley said. "I didn't say anything to him. I swear on my mother. They came over and wanted to know why I was sitting there. I bought the ticket. I said, 'Why do you guys keep staring at me?' Then they asked me to leave. And I said, 'I'm not leaving.'"

The New York Times' Scott Cacciola detailed in November 2016 how Oakley has been a vocal critic of Dolan and had a strained relationship with the Knicks. He didn't endear himself to the team's ownership and front office in 2010, either, as Cacciola wrote that Oakley told LeBron James to avoid signing with the Knicks as a free agent.