New York Knicks fan favorite Latrell Sprewell was in attendance at Madison Square Garden for the Knicks’ game against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, four days after former Knick Charles Oakley was physically removed from the Garden and arrested.
Sprewell was seated next to owner James Dolan, who has had his share of incidents with the former All-Star guard. Sprewell was seen yelling at Dolan in 2003 during his first game back at the Garden following his trade to the Timberwolves.
Dolan surrounded himself with a number of famous Knicks on Sunday. Hall of Famer Bernard King sat to his left with Sprewell was seated to Dolan’s right. Former forward Larry Johnson sat next to Sprewell, who helped the Knicks to the 1999 NBA Finals.
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“I can’t tell you why I haven’t been back here, but I’ll tell you when I left, I was not happy,” Sprewell said to ABC, via ESPN. “New York is like a second home for me. I love the fans here. The fans have embraced me. There’s no place like the Garden to play in. I mean, who wouldn’t want to play in the Garden?”
But not everyone was showing support for Dolan, who banned Oakley indefinitely from the Garden after his incident with MSG security last week. Spike Lee was seen in his familiar courtside seat wearing an Oakley jersey and vehemently defended the former bruising forward, whom Dolan said could have a drinking problem.
“I mean, how can you say somebody is an alcoholic? You just can’t, in my opinion,” Lee said, via ESPN. “And even if the person was, why would you say that? I don’t know why you would say that. All I can do is wear my jersey.”
Sprewell said the Oakley situation was “disappointing” and “unfortunate” and added that the two sides should “iron it out and get past it.”