MSG Confirms Charles Oakley Has Not Been Banned Since Court Order Lapsed in 2018

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2020

FILE - At left, in a March 18, 2014, file photo, James Dolan, executive chairman of Madison Square Garden, listens to a question at a news conference, in New York. At right, in an April 11, 2017, file photo, former New York Knicks basketball player Charles Oakley talks to the press after an appearance in Manhattan Criminal Court, in New York. New York Knicks great Charles Oakley is tired of
Uncredited/Associated Press

Madison Square Garden confirmed Friday that former New York Knicks forward Charles Oakley has been allowed back at the arena since 2018 following an arrest stemming from a 2017 altercation. 

According to The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov, Oakley was cleared to re-enter the building after a civil trespass order lapsed two years ago. 

"Once that period ended, he's always been allowed back at The Garden," MSG spokesperson Kim Kerns told Vorkunov. 

Oakley's lawsuit against MSG and James Dolan was dismissed Wednesday. 

"We thank the court for its ruling," the Knicks said in a statement. "This was an incident that no one was happy about. Maybe now there can be peace between us." 

Oakley, who played for the Knicks from 1988 through 1998, was physically restrained and removed from the Garden during a February 2017 game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Even though Oakley is no longer banned, the 56-year-old Cleveland native told Dan Gelston of the Associated Press last March there was little hope of reconciliation between the sides.

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"Why would I want to do it with someone who had me dragged out of the Garden for no reason?" Oakley said. "Why would I want a relationship with him? I told him I wasn't happy."

He added: "I'm allowed in 29 arenas except the Garden. They've said we'd retire your jersey, they'll do this. But you think I want my jersey hanging outside the Garden? They can still see it. But you just dragged me outside the ... Garden."

Douglas Wigdor, Oakley's attorney, released a statement saying they planned to appeal the ruling.

"It's just the beginning of the fourth quarter, and we are confident that we can turn this around with an appeal that we plan to file in the coming days," Wigdor said.

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