After Knicks legend Charles Oakley was arrested at Madison Square Garden last week, and following comments both he and team owner James Dolan made in subsequent interviews, NBA commissioner Adam Silver felt the need to step in and put an end to the embarrassing situation.
He did exactly that Monday and called in Michael Jordan (a close personal friend of Oakley’s, and the owner of the Charlotte Hornets) to help broker peace between the two sides.
“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,” Silver said in a statement released by the NBA. “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.”
Why would the commissioner bother to intervene in a broken personal relationship? The part about “their negative impact on the Knicks organization and the NBA” should give us a pretty good idea.
The league is all about drama, at least to a certain extent — just ask Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook about that. But the kind created by the situation between Oakley and Dolan was ultimately toxic.