The basketball at Madison Square Garden has been atrocious this season, but Wednesday night, in the first quarter of yet another Knicks loss, something even uglier briefly took the attention away from the disastrous team on the court.
Knicks legend and notorious hot head Charles Oakley got into a fight with Garden security guards and was handcuffed before getting arrested. It was a wild scene that was captured from many different angles.
So what the hell was going on here? According to people sitting around Oakley, the former power forward was sitting calmly when a security guard walked up to him and asked him to leave. Quickly, he was surrounded by a mob of guards and, Oakley being Oakley, he reacted by ratcheting up the confrontation. The NYPD said he was charged with third-degree assault and trespassing, while the Knicks attempted to explain why he was booted from the game in a statement that called him "abusive."
This drama is apparently rooted in the animosity between Oakley and Knicks owner James Dolan, who "don't like me," Oakley told the Times last year. In that same article a team spokesman said that Oakley is his "own worst enemy." Dolan has reportedly tried to freeze Oakley out of the Knicks family because he's said a handful of less-than-flattering things about the team over the years. Most seriously, Oakley, who's from Cleveland, reportedly told LeBron James to not sign with the Knicks during his free agency. Speaking of LeBron, the Cavs superstar posted a simple message of support for Oakley on Instagram after Wednesday's incident.
Whatever the reason for the fallout between Oakley and Dolan, it's hard not to side with the dude who gave a decade to this team as one of the league's most feared enforcers. That's a lot more than Dolan has done for the Knicks, who've been a hapless mess since he took control of the team in 1999.