In yet another polarizing development, New York Knicks owner James Dolan has banned Charles Oakley from entering Madison Square Garden.
As the New York Knicks attempt to turn the 2016-17 season around, the front office won’t stop providing distractions. The incessant trade rumors and social media outbursts were sufficient, but owner James Dolan is now providing public distractions of his own.
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Following the controversial ejection of Charles Oakley from a recent Knicks game, Dolan has banned the Knicks legend from stepping foot in Madison Square Garden.
Oakley was escorted out of Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, Feb. 8 after getting into a physical confrontation with security guards. Oakley was arrested and charged with three misdemeanor counts of assault, as well as criminal trespassing.
James Dolan appeared on Michael Kay’s radio show and informed him that, while it isn’t necessarily a lifetime ban, Oakley will not be allowed to step foot in Madison Square Garden. Per Amara Grautski of The New York Daily News:
“It’s not necessarily a lifetime ban, but I think the most important thing with that is you need to keep the Garden the place that’s comfortable and safe for everyone who goes there,” Dolan then told Kay in an in-studio interview.”
There aren’t many silver linings to find in the 2016-17 season.
Though the details have been conflicting, Oakley was approached by security and asked to leave during the Knicks’ 119-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, Feb. 8. It was a controversial incident in the midst of a disastrous season.
Oakley and the Knicks have since traded conflicting stories, with the culmination of such events being a ban from Madison Square Garden.
Dolan cited Oakley’s alleged alcohol issues during the interview with Kay. One would hope that Dolan is sincere in wishing Oakley the best, but this entire situation is yet another ugly turn in the relationship between Dolan and one of the most beloved players in Knicks history.
Here’s hoping they can put their issues to rest sooner than later.