As if this New York Knicks season was not bizarre enough, we reached a new level on Wednesday night. Former Knicks great Charles Oakley was in attendance for their nationally-televised game against the Clippers. Oakley got into an argument with a fan at courtside, and was confronted by Madison Square Garden security. He eventually shoved a member of security, was forcibly kicked out of MSG, and then later placed in handcuffs and was arrested.
Things escalated quickly:
Charles Oakley shoves Madison Square Garden security and is escorted out of the building in strange scene pic.twitter.com/lTphvnSzFV— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 9, 2017
Here's another angle:
Soooooo Charles Oakley just got into a fight at he Knicks game. pic.twitter.com/klZBD89VI7— Ian Schafer (@ischafer) February 9, 2017
A closer look:
Another look at Charles Oakley shoving MSG security pic.twitter.com/RvMXhwDghy— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 9, 2017
And then this happened:
SBNY Exclusive: Charles Oakley on the ground surrounded by police and Garden security pic.twitter.com/cemhHF4Lu0— SportsBlogNewYork (@SportBlogNYC) February 9, 2017
In case you're wondering, Oakley blamed Knicks team owner James Dolan for his ejection:
Charles Oakley referenced owner James Dolan as Phil Jackson was trying to calm him down. "Dolan did this," he said.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 9, 2017
Charles Oakley was said to be yelling at James Dolan and was warned to stop, according to a source. He continued and was then asked to leave— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) February 9, 2017
Charles Oakley has been upset that the franchise, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary, haven't included him in any events.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) February 9, 2017
This tweet below points out just how close the owner was to Oakley during his altercation:
James Dolan (red circle) watching as Charles Oakley (yellow circle) is escorted off the court at MSG pic.twitter.com/YNkiXKVTX2— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) February 9, 2017
The Knicks issued this (fairly incredible) statement shortly thereafter:
Oakley has had issues with the team, its owner, and the front office over the last few years and has been openly critical of the team in the strongest of terms. Here's a New York Times article quote he gave about James Dolan:
"The boss don't like me," Oakley said last week. "I wouldn't mind having a sit-down dinner with Dolan. I wouldn't mind cooking him dinner."
Pause. "Might put something in it, though!"
Pause. "I mean, I had at least 15 people try to set up a meeting. He won't meet. I want to sit down to talk to him. I want me and him in a room. And lock the door. Lock that door!"
Oakley played 10 seasons with the Knicks during their 90's heyday.