The Knicks has been mired with dysfunction. Knicks president Phil Jackson and the team’s top star, Carmelo Anthony are feuding.
Oakley got into an altercation with security guards halfway through the first quarter. The beloved retired athlete was removed from Madison Square Garden and handcuffed.
He was seated courtside in an aisle seat near the Knicks’ bench. Accounts of his behaviour varied widely. Some people say he was calm during the game.
James Dolan, the Knicks’ owner, sat nearby. Several spectators said they did not see Oakley exchange any words with Dolan or try to provoke him. But they did see him exchange glances with a security guard who was several feet away. Oakley allegedly uttered something to the guard as he was doing his rounds according to a fan who was sitting behind him.
A guard came by and asked him to leave. He was soon surrounded by multiple guards. As they tried to remove him, he used one guard twice before being restrained and ejected. The game came to a halt and all the players watched the event. Fans were chanting: “Oakley! Oakley!”
The police said Charles Oakley has been charged with three counts of third-degree assault and one count of criminal trespass, all misdemeanours. He was released with an appearance ticket.
The Knicks said Oakley had behaved in a “highly innaprorpiate and completely abusive manner.”
But according to some people in the audience, he was behaving very calmly throughout.