New York Knicks legend Charles Oakley was ejected from Madison Square Garden Wednesday night and arrested after an altercation occured near Knicks owner James Dolan.
The NYPD charged Oakley with three counts of assault for hitting security guards, but Oakley said after his release that he never said anything to Dolan, and that he had paid for his own ticket to the game.
On Thursday’s episode of Undisputed, Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless reacted to the latest sideshow in a miserable Knicks season.
The Knicks advised Oakley to seek help in a statement released after the game
Shannon: It was a bad look for both sides
“I’ve known Charles Oakley for over 20 years. I have a very personal relationship with Charles, I consider him a friend. I could pick up the phone and call Charles, he would pick up the phone, and we talk.
But it’s a bad look for both sides. I wish Charles would have handled this situation differently. It’s hard to say, because you’ve got a lot of ‘he said this, he said that,’ and Charles is saying ‘I didn’t say anything to [Knicks owner James] Dolan and I put that on my mom.’
I’m going to believe Oakley in that situation. Knowing that man for over two decades, I’m going to believe him. But what I have a problem with, although I wish he would have handled it differently, the Knicks PR staff saying ‘I hope he gets help soon.’
That’s really in poor taste. That’s really, really in poor taste, that you think you can make that kind of diagnosis that there’s something mentally wrong with Charles. So I don’t like the way they handled that situation.”
Shannon: Charles Oakley feels slighted by the Knicks
“Oakley feels that he’s been treated differently than other [great] Knick players. And he was a great Knick player. He didn’t bring a championship, but he did his job to the utmost.
…. I don’t know if people realize just how good he was at what he did. He played a long time, he kept his body in shape. But this is just a bad look, because he feels that when the Knicks players get honored, Charles Oakley is left out of that equation. He has to pay for tickets to go see Knicks games. It would be hard for me to believe, Skip, that if I called the Denver Broncos and said ‘I want to come see a ballgame,’ [that] they’re going to ask me to pay for a ticket. Or if I called the Baltimore Ravens, [that] they would ask me to pay for a ticket.
Charles Oakley should not have to buy a ticket to go see the Knicks play. Look, he’s been very, very, very critical of Dolan, and maybe that has something to do with it. Maybe he’s like ‘I don’t want him in my building, but I can’t prevent him because it’s a public place. If he buys a ticket, what am I to do?’
There’s no love lost between these two men, but I just with Oakley would have handled it differently.”
Skip: James Dolan is the worst owner in sports
“Nobody, nobody loves the New York Knicks and hurts for the New York Knicks more than Charles Oakley does. And nobody despises this owner – in the way every Knick fan despises this owner – any more than Charles Oakley does, which is why the Knick fans last night were chanting ‘Oak-ley, Oak-ley.’ Even though it got ugly and neither one of us loved the sight of it. It’s a bad look for the NBA, the NBA’s not going to love this. The commissioner won’t love it.
The Knicks… I don’t know how they could look much worse. But I had so much respect for Charles Oakley, and as Doc Rivers said last night – because he loves Charles Oakley – I’m paraphrasing but he said ‘I started to go over there and then I thought ‘what can I do?’ But he said it hurt him to have to watch that unfold.”
Skip: Oakley channeled the rage of Knicks fans
“The point is, going back a couple years, [Oakley] called [Dolan], to I think this was the New York Times, a ‘bad guy’ and a profane name. And then the quote was ‘I want to sit down and talk to him. I want me and him in a room and lock the door! I mean, he can have the police outside the door.’
Well Dolan could interpret that as somewhat threatening because Oak is Oak. So when he sees Oakley had bought a ticket you can imagine what [Dolan was thinking.] And so bad went to worse.
But again, what Oakley did embodied all the emotion that is directed toward the most despised owner I think in sports, in James Dolan. I don’t think it’s even close. And he’s also the worst owner in sports, and I don’t think it’s even close. Just in spirit, I think the Knick fans – who are so despondent over what has happened on the court – that they loved it. Again, it’s not the right way to do this, but at least it was somebody sort of lashing back at the Knicks organization. And for a moment, an ugly moment, it probably felt pretty good to a lot of Knicks fans.”
Shannon: Oakley showed the fight the Knicks haven’t all year
“It’s not the fight that you wanted, but I think the Knick fans were happy someone was showing fight. Not in that situation but… a lot of those fans saw this man play in that very building. Diving on the floor, setting picks, getting rebounds, doing all the stuff and didn’t get a whole lot of credit.
Skip: “All the stuff they don’t do now.”