When you think of some of the most beloved members of the New York Knicks, players like Walt Frazier, Bernard King, Willis Reed and Patrick Ewing come to mind.
Charles Oakley might be an even more beloved member of the Knicks by the fan base. So when the fans see one of the most beloved members of the team being escorted; well, more thrown out of Madison Square Garden by a dozen or so security guards and New York City police officers, then being cuffed and arrested, it’s a bad look and sends the wrong message to the fans.
It’s well known that Oakley and current Knicks owner James Dolan do not like each other. Dolan has made Oakley feel un-welcomed ever since his retirement from the NBA and un-welcomed by the organization; Oakley has not been invited to many team events that feature several team alumni it has Oakley feeling distraught.
There are two sides to the story here as far as what happened at Madison Square Garden when the Knicks were facing the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.
There’s the Knicks side, who are claiming that Oakley acted unprofessionally and spewed many perverse things towards Dolan while sitting in his seat at the Garden, which lead to the security guards and police taking Oakley out of the building.
Then there’s Oakley’s side, who is stating that he did nothing wrong and was simply watching the game and then got bombarded by the MSG security guards and police and then his ejection and arrest.
Eventually, we’ll know who was right and wrong in this incident, but regardless of it, the Knicks and Dolan look bad in this, really bad.
Oakley should be involved with the team, even if it’s being invited as an alumni to events and being part of the team history and legacy. The New York fans appreciate what Oakley did when he was on the team from 1988-1998. While Ewing was the franchise star and the captain, Oakley was the enforcer and for a time, was the co-captain of the Knicks along with Ewing, and with good reason. Oakley represented the blue collar worker who did the dirty work on the court.
He hustled, he rebounded, he played defense, and he played with more heart and soul than most players ever could. Oakley knew he wasn’t the most talented, but made up with it and his passion and heart made him one of the most feared players by opponents, but beloved by the Knicks fans.
And Oakley’s thank you from the Knicks is being not welcomed and essentially, thrown out of an arena that fans used to cheer for him on a nightly basis and being thrown in the back of a police car with handcuffs on.
Some treatment for one of the most beloved alumni of the Knicks, huh? And some fans wonder why the Knicks are considered the embarrassment of the New York teams; it’s for reasons like this.
It’s an utter disgrace and further reasoning why Dolan has no business being the owner of the Knicks; a notion many fans share. One website called for Dolan to sell the team, which obviously isn’t going to happen considering how much the Knicks are worth.
Until Dolan is gone, the Knicks continue to sink further as an NBA disgrace and an embarrassment to New York City.