Sometimes you just have to sit down and hash it out like a couple of adults -- and it helps if Michael Jordan is on the line.
Knicks owner James Dolan met with Charles Oakley and NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Monday to try to work out a resolution to the dispute that erupted last week. Jordan, a friend and former teammate of Oakley's, joined the trio on a conference call.
Apparently it worked, as commissioner Silver announced after the meeting that Dolan expressed a hope to lift Oakley's ban from Madison Square Garden in the "near future." According to an ESPN report, Oakley is expected to be invited back in the coming weeks.
Oakley was banned by Dolan after an altercation during a Knicks home game last Wednesday in which Oakley was physically removed from the arena and later arrested. Oakley has maintained that he did nothing wrong, while Dolan has said that Oakley had anger problems, perhaps fueled by alcohol.
Current and former players have stuck by Oakley throughout the incident, and Rev. Al Sharpton threatened to picket if Oakley's ban from MSG wasn't lifted.
Here is Silver's statement following Monday's meeting:
"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. In an effort to find a path forward, New York Knicks owner Jim Dolan, Charles Oakley, and I met today at the league office, along with Michael Jordan, who participated by phone.
"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. Mr. Dolan expressed his hope that Mr. Oakley would return to MSG as his guest in the near future.
"I appreciate the efforts of Mr. Dolan, Mr. Oakley and Mr. Jordan to work towards a resolution of this matter."