By Mike Robinson
Charles Oakley and James Dolan clashed heads at The Garden on national television earlier this February, and the situation has just kept getting stranger and stranger for Knicks‘ fans in Harlem and all of the other boroughs. While the Knicks have been a disaster on the court all season, this was perhaps the biggest black eye for the team since it happened in the first quarter of a nationally televised game on ESPN against the Los Angeles Clippers. No matter what you think of the Knicks this season and Phil Jackson’s continued attack on All-Star Carmelo Anthony, this may go down as the lowest point in what has so far been a very forgettable season.
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Charles Oakley is one of the most beloved Knicks of the past 20 years thanks to all of the moments that he had as an enforcer for Harlem’s finest squad. When security guards started getting tough with the Oak Man, it was a bad situation that was only going to go down hill. While news of the incident was spreading across social media, Knicks’ owner James Dolan did not wait very long to open his big mouth and make the situation a whole lot worse. When he went on the radio the next day and told Michael Kay that Oakley was indefinitely suspended and should seek treatment for his alcoholism, it became fodder for all of the talk radio shows in New York and on a national level that kept people’s attention for weeks.
While things have gotten a little bit better in recent days thanks to some moderating between Dolan and Oakley, by Commissioner Adam Silver and Michael Jordan, this is still a terrible situation for theKnicks and the dumpster fire that is the 2017 NBA season. With the Knicks having one of their worst seasons in recent years, general manager Phil Jackson and owner James Dolan have done nothing to give Knicks fans peace of mind when they go to bed at night.
While the team may not be mathematically eliminated from the playoff hunt in a weak Eastern Conference, there is little cause for hope right now in Harlem and the Big Apple at large. This embarrassment to Knicks fans has led to a lot of hurt feelings between management and former players, and has put some of the other ex-players who work for Dolan in a very odd situation.
The timing of the incident could not have been worse for Dolan and the Knicks since it was during a slow time of the New York sport’s calendar. Until the first pitch of the Major League Baseball season is thrown and the Yankees take over the bright lights of New York City, the Dolan and Oakley story will still be fresh on New Yorkers’ minds. NBA star Draymond Green did nothing to make the situation any better when he said some very charged words towards Dolan. Stay tuned Knicks‘ fans to see what else happens this forgettable NBA season.