Charles Oakley Arrested at Madison Square Garden After Altercation in Stands

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2017

TORONTO, CANADA - March 13 : Former NBA player Charles Oakley during the game between the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors on March 13, 2015 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Charles Oakley was one of the NBA's foremost enforcers during his playing career, and the 53-year-old's demeanor doesn't appear to have softened in retirement.

Oakley got into a shoving match with Madison Square Garden security during the New York Knicks' matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night:

Mike Vorkunov of the New York Times passed along another video of the confrontation (warning: NSFW language).

The New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy reported security handcuffed Oakley and escorted him away from the arena. Oakley reportedly said, "Dolan did this," alluding to Knicks owner James Dolan, as team president Phil Jackson was trying to calm him down, per ESPN.com's Ian Begley.

Ryan Field of ABC 7 reported Oakley would be charged with three counts of assault, per the New York Police Department. Begley added that Oakley would be charged with criminal trespassing as well.

The Knicks released a statement regarding the incident:

NY_KnicksPR @NY_KnicksPR


On Thursday, the Knicks released a second statement on the incident: 

NY_KnicksPR @NY_KnicksPR


Yahoo Sports' Chris Mannix provided some context:

Chris Mannix @ChrisMannixYS

Oakley has long had a complicated, often contemptuous relationship with the Knicks. Very rarely is he seen at MSG. What a bizarre scene.

After being released from custody, Oakley spoke with Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, who tweeted: "Charles Oakley says he purchased his own tickets. When Knicks realized that he was seated behind James Dolan they asked him why was he here."

"I thought for a second I was gonna run down there, but then I thought, what the hell am I gonna do?" Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said after the game, per Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated.

Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James took to Instagram to voice his thoughts on Oakley's ejection and arrest:

Oakley was involved in a similar incident outside the Cleveland Cavaliers' locker room after their NBA Finals victory over the Golden State Warriors in June. ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin shared a video of Oakley speaking with Oracle Arena security (warning: video contains NSFW language):

Dave McMenamin @mcten

Charles Oakley's incident tonight reminded me that in the crazy aftermath of Game 7, he got into it with Oracle security too https://t.co/ZAkPUEEKbj

Oakley played 10 years for the Knicks and helped the franchise reach the Eastern Conference Finals in 1993 and the NBA Finals in 1994. He's sixth in Knicks history in games played (727), per Basketball-Reference.com.

The New York Times' Scott Cacciola wrote in November that Oakley has been critical of the Knicks in recent years and also advised LeBron James against signing with the team when he was a free agent in 2010. As a result, his relationship with the franchise has become strained.

Barry Watkins, Madison Square Garden's executive vice president and chief communications officer, told Cacciola that Oakley "is his own worst enemy."


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