With one push, Charles Oakley quickly took the heat away from Phil Jackson, and Carmelo Anthony and all the drama surrounding the Knicks. For one night, the Knicks mess was solely focused on the legendary big man and his issues with team owner James Dolan.
Oakley, who has expressed his displeasure with the Knicks owner in the past, says he was just simply attending the game as a fan. He was approached by security and was asked to leave the game. Then things got physical leading up to Oakley’s ejection.
Here’s a video of the incident where Oakley apparently went at Dolan.
The Knicks PR team released a statement following Oakley’s ejection.
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) February 9, 2017
As seen in the video above, the NBA legend was ejected after reportedly going after Knicks owner James Dolan.
ESPN’s Ian Begley has more from the scene at MSG and the legal issues Oakley currently faces.
The incident occurred during a stoppage in play as Kristaps Porzingis was shooting free throws in the first quarter against the visiting LA Clippers. A police source told ESPN that Oakley had purchased a seat a few rows behind Dolan and was making comments at the Knicks owner, who eventually had security escort him from the arena.
Knicks president Phil Jackson came out to try to calm down Oakley, who was yelling about Dolan and telling security he wasn’t going to move as they handcuffed him outside the tunnel leading to the court. At one point, Oakley was on the ground surrounded by police and Madison Square Garden security.
Fans chanted, “Oakley! Oakley!” in support of the popular former power forward, as players from both teams turned to watch.
According to the NYPD, Oakley, 54, punched three male MSG employees — all of whom suffered minor injuries and refused medical attention at the scene — as he was being escorted out. He was charged with three misdemeanor counts of assault, all third degree, and one count of criminal trespass, a third-degree misdemeanor.
Oakley said he felt threatened by the security personnel.
A fan who was sitting near Oakley said the former player was being boisterous, but the fan did not hear Oakley speak directly to Dolan or address the owner in any way before he was approached by security.
Oakley was given a desk appearance ticket and will be required to appear in front of a judge at a later date. The court date is scheduled for March, a source told ESPN.
After Charles Oakley’s ejection and arrest, he did an interview and spoke about what happened.
We’ll have more for you as the story develops.