Charles Oakley Banned from Madison Square Garden by Knicks

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2017

James Dolan, executive chairman of  Madison Square Garden, sits at a news conference next to the team logo where he introduced Phil Jackson as the new president of the New York Knicks, Tuesday, March 18, 2014 in New York. Jackson, who won two NBA titles as a player for the New York Knicks, also won 11 championships while coaching the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

The ongoing saga between Charles Oakley and the New York Knicks has led to a ban from Madison Square Garden for the former NBA All-Star.

Per Michael Kay on The Michael Kay Show on Friday, Oakley "will never be allowed to enter MSG again, even if he purchases a ticket."

Knicks owner James Dolan said Oakley's ban won't necessarily be forever.

"I'll talk about [the ban] in a little bit, but it's not necessarily a lifetime ban," he said, per Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post reported Friday. "We need to keep the Garden safe for anybody who goes there."

Dolan went on to say that Oakley's place in Knicks history doesn't absolve him.

"I understand that he was a big star, but that doesn't excuse people from that type of behavior," he said, per The Michael Kay Show.

Oakley later thanked fans for supporting him throughout the situation:

Charles Oakley @CharlesOakley34

I love NYC I LOVE the Knicks that you for all your love .. I will be holding a Press conference next week Let's go Knicks

Dolan also said Oakley has a "problem with anger," and "he may have a problem with alcohol; we don't know," per Bontemps.

"I'll deal with it in court," Oakley's attorney, Alex Spiro, said on the anger and alcohol-related claims, per Ian Begley of ESPN New York on Friday.

"Dolan might think because I go to volunteer at Rebound Institute treatment centers with Jayson that I'm a client," Oakley said on Saturday, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. "I'm just supporting the amazing work Jayson is doing. I'm not an alcoholic but Jayson is."

National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts commented on the situation on Friday:

Michele Roberts @MRobertsNBPA

Painful to believe that my last image of Oak at MSG is him dragged out of the arena. Is this how we remember our Legends? #NoBan

On Wednesday, security escorted Oakley from Madison Square Garden during New York's game against the Los Angeles Clippers. According to Begley, the New York Police Department arrested Oakley and charged him with three counts of assault and criminal trespassing.

In an official statement shortly after Oakley's arrest, the Knicks said he "behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner" and closed by saying "he was a great Knick, and we hope he gets some help soon."

Begley reported Oakley bought a ticket for the game that was near Dolan's seat and was "making comments at the Knicks owner" before Dolan had security take him from the arena.

"What happened is me and four friends went to the game tonight to watch the Knicks and Clippers," Oakley said, per Begley. "We did sit down, trying to have a good time. Next thing I know, I was asked to leave the building. "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.'"

In an updated statement released Thursday, the Knicks said there were "dozens of security staff, employees and NYPD that witnessed Oakley's abusive behavior," and everything Oakley has said after his arrest "is pure fiction."

Per B/R's Howard Beck, the Knicks have sent out a security report about the situation, and there will be a "follow-up video" distributed to the media sometime Friday.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical noted Dolan is missing the bigger picture by still going after Oakley:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

What Dolan doesn't understand: By trying to win battle w/ Oak, he's lost war. Between Dolan/Jackson, Knicks are toxic free agent destination

A 19-year NBA veteran, Oakley played 10 seasons with the Knicks from 1988 to 1998. He also spent time with the Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets before retiring after the 2003-04 campaign.

During Oakley's time with the Knicks, the franchise made the playoffs every season and won the Eastern Conference in 1994.

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