*Charles Oakley proved again Wednesday night why he was such an effective NBA enforcer.
The 53-year-old former player was arrested at Madison Square Garden last night after getting into a shoving match with security. Upon his release from Midtown South police station at around midnight, Oakley told the New York Daily News that Garden security asked him to leave because Knicks owner James Dolan did not want him there.
As the Knicks were taking on the Los Angeles Clippers, Oakley was suddenly spotted being handcuffed by security and escorted out of the arena. He was heard yelling, “Dolan did this,” as team president Phil Jackson was trying to calm him down.
Watch the incident below:
Oakley was charged with three counts of assault, and criminal trespassing.
The Knicks tweeted their version of the incident, saying Oakley “behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner,” and expressing hope that “he gets some help soon.”
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) February 9, 2017
After being released from custody, Oakley told Frank Isola of the Daily News: “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.” Oakley also said he did not put his hands on Dolan: “I was there for four minutes … I didn’t say anything to him. I swear on my mother.”
Below, Oakley sat down with a friend of his from Jimmy’s NYC restaurant and gave his side of the story. Via TMZ:
Yahoo Sports’ Chris Mannix reported, “Oakley has long had a complicated, often contemptuous relationship with the Knicks. Very rarely is he seen at MSG. What a bizarre scene.”
Oakley spent a decade with the Knicks, during which they reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 1993 and the NBA Finals in 1994. 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.
LeBron weighed in on Oakley’s incident via Instagram: