Knicks announce Charles Oakley arrested after altercation at MSG
Former NBA player Eddie Johnson discusses the rough times facing professional basketball in New York. USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK — The New York Knicks’ troubles spread from the current roster and front office to one of the franchise’s legends as Charles Oakley was pulled from his seat by five security guards and arrested during Wednesday’s game.
The former Knicks forward got into an altercation in the stands during Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers. The team announced his arrest shortly thereafter.
He was charged with three counts of assault inside of Madison Square Garden and will receive a desk appearance ticket, according to an NYPD spokesperson.
The Knicks’ statement read:
“Charles Oakley came to the game tonight and behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner. He has been ejected and is currently being arrested by the New York City Police Department. He was a great Knick and we hope he gets some help soon.”
Oakley, seated directly behind Knicks’ owner James Dolan, with whom he has had an acrimonious relationship for years, was alleged to have been shouting at Dolan.
After he was pulled from the stands and into a tunnel underneath, he was handcuffed by the NYPD. He grew angrier, screaming to release him, that he was not going anywhere. Phil Jackson came down and tried to calm him down, but Oakley was heard by witnesses screaming, “Dolan did this.”
“That was sad,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who was a teammate of Oakley’s in New York. “That was tough for me to watch. Honest to God, you could see it. I actually took three steps and I swear I was going to run down there and I thought, ‘What the hell am I going to do?’ But I didn’t like that. That’s my guy. That was tough to watch from where I was standing.
“He’s the best teammate in the world. He really is. Honestly, the players could see me. That was a tough thing to watch. I’ve been in the league a long time I’ve never seen anything like that. I don’t know. I’m going to find out what’s going on. That was tough, that was tough to watch.”
MORE ON OAKLEY INCIDENT:
Spencer Checketts, son of former Knicks president Dave Checketts, later tweeted that his father was attempting to bail Oakley out of jail.
Oakley, who made headlines last week when he tweeted that TNT analyst and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley needs to stop “drinking at work,” was the Knicks’ on-court enforcer in the 1990s, which gave him the reputation as one of the most feared players in the NBA and one of the organization’s most beloved players.
But he has been left out of the nostalgia-tinged celebrations going on for the team’s 70th anniversary and has been left out of the organization while other former players have been brought back into the fold.
He has said that because he has been open in his opinions about the team — and Dolan — he was pushed away.
Contributing: AJ Neuharth-Keusch, USA TODAY Sports.
WATCH: Twitter reaction to Charles Oakley altercation
Charles Oakley, the former Knicks great and frequent outspoken critic of team owner James Dolan, was involved in an ugly incident at Wednesday night’s game and the Twitter response was immediate. USA TODAY Sports