Earlier this month, Charles Oakley was forcefully ushered out of Madison Square Garden during a Knicks match-up against the Los Angeles Clippers. Following what appeared to be a shoving match with a few security personnel, Oakley was then arrested and charged with assault. The altercation received a wave of support in Oakley's corner, and even prompted a response from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
"This is a blemish, not only on the Knicks, Madison Square Garden but sports. Anytime you have a player who gave his heart and soul to the team and the city, to be treated in that fashion sends a chilling impact," he said during a press conference on Sunday (Feb. 12). "I saw this as Eric Garner without the chokehold." Adams continued to state that he was "alarmed as a Knicks fan. I was disgusted as a black man, and I want to make a clear statement that we are better than this as a city, as a team and as a player,”
Oakley played with the Knicks for 10 years, cherishing the time he shared with the franchise in the 90s. "I'm a Knicks fan for life, no matter if I come back to the Garden or not," he previously told ESPN. "I played here for a decade, my heart and soul are here." Adams also echoed those sentiments, mentioning that there's no justifiable reason as to why Oakley was banned from the arena, especially because he's "representative of the athletes who participated in building a legacy of the New York Knicks..."
Another NBA legend also stepped in to smooth the tension between the fellow pro-athlete and Knicks owner James Dolan. According to the New York Daily News, Michael Jordan alongside NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, held a phone conference with the two parties at odds.
"It is beyond disheartening to see situations involving members of the NBA family like the one that occurred at Madison Square Garden this past week," Silver said in a statement. "Mr. Dolan expressed his hope that Mr. Oakley would return to MSG as his guest in the near future."
Shortly after this news surfaced of a conference call, VICE Sports pointed out an indefinite ban that was placed on Oakley has been dissolved. "Both Mr. Oakley and Mr. Dolan were apologetic about the incident and subsequent comments, and their negative impact on the Knicks organization and the NBA," Silver continues. "Mr. Dolan expressed his hope that Mr. Oakley would return to MSG as his guest in the near future."
Nearly a week ago, Oakley and veteran Knicks fan, Spike Lee, grabbed lunch to discuss the incident. The famed director said Oakley was open to having a sit-down with Dolan, "man to man" in order to "work this out."