After a contentious kerfuffle in the stands, basketball legend Charles Oakley was physically escorted out of Madison Square Garden, arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault and criminal trespass on Wednesday night.
Of course, this being 2017, most of the altercation was caught on camera and from several angles.
Oakley, who was a few rows away from Knicks Team Owner James Dolan as the Knicks took on the LA Clippers, said that Garden security asked him to leave because Dolan did not want him there.
“I was there for four minutes,” Oakley said late Wednesday night to the New York Daily News. “I didn’t say anything to him. I swear on my mother. 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.”
But “police sources” say that the former Knick did, in fact, yell at the team owner, after which Oakley was confronted by security. He forcefully shoved one guard and appeared to hit another before he was physically removed from the stands.
After being escorted through the tunnel, Oakley was overheard shouting, “F–k that, let me go.”
Oakley, an All-Star who helped the Knicks reach the NBA Finals in 1994, reportedly has a contentious history with Dolan—a Donald Trump supporter—and has been excluded from invitations and tributes reserved for former players.
Oakley has maintained that Dolan doesn’t like his honesty and bluntness about the team and its choices—and there has been lots of criticism aimed at the Knicks these days.
Oakley was released from the Midtown South precinct at around midnight by police and snuck out the back door and into a black SUV, avoiding the waiting press outside.
The Knicks released a shady statement via Twitter calling Oakley’s behavior, “highly inappropriate and completely abusive. …He was a great Knick and we hope he gets some help soon.”
SOURCE: New York Daily News