Remember when Charles Oakley was escorted out of the stands at a New York Knicks game last season? It appears the bad blood between the former Knicks player and the franchise has not cooled in the months after that bizarre sequence of events. According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Ian Begley of ESPN, Oakley is organizing a civil suit against the Knicks in some capacity.
Oakley was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault during a February incident inside Madison Square Garden shortly after the Knicks tipped off. Oakley was seen physically fending off security guards at Madison Square Garden. James Dolan went on to suggest Oakley was under the influence of alcohol and had issues with anger management, which only ratcheted up the animosity between the Knicks owner and the former Knick fan favorite even more. Oakley has denied he was in the wrong during the incident, although he has not been silent with his criticisms of the team’s leadership (nobody has, really). Oakley had been banned from MSG by Dolan following the incident, but that ban was short-lived as it seemed cooler heads had prevailed at the time.
Maybe that was short-lived too.
According to the ESPN report, it is unknown specifically who would be targetted in a lawsuit filed by Oakley, whether it would include Dolan, the Knicks, Madison Square Garden or any combination of the three. Given Dolan’s comments, Oakley could file a defamation lawsuit against Dolan but that is merely speculation. Oakley was clearly not pleased about being escorted out of the stands at the game, as it was an embarrassing situation to be in.
Oakley has had the criminal charges filed against him from the February incident dropped as part of an agreement that will have to see Oakley stay out of trouble for six months. Oakley is also not allowed to “trespass” at Madison Square Garden for one year as a condition of the agreement. Any violations of that agreement would see the filed charges brought back against him for possible legal action.