Ex-Knicks star Charles Oakley continuing MSG holdout amid beef with owner James Dolan

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Former New York Knicks stars have been sitting courtside, cheering on their old team throughout the playoffs – but Charles Oakley has been absent.

Oakley’s highly-publicized beef with the Knicks hit its peak in 2017 when Oakley was ejected from a Knicks game and hit a security official near owner James Dolan’s courtside seat.

The incident remains a he-said, he-said – the team said Oakley was yelling continuously at Dolan, but Oakley has denied that, and instead said he was asked to leave the arena shortly after taking his seat at the game for no reason.

Former NBA player Charles Oakley sits court side

Former NBA player  Charles Oakley sits court side prior to the game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena on February 15, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Well, Oakley hasn’t been back to the Garden since, and even with the Knicks having their best season since Oakley’s playing days, he’s holding onto his boycott.

Oakley was arrested for, but eventually cleared of, assault, but there is still an ongoing legal battle between the two of them.

Despite that, Oakley says Dolan’s lawyers called his and invited him to a recent game. But it’s a hard no.

“They’ve got to apologize,” he said to The Associated Press. “We’ll go from there. Can (Dolan) be man enough to say, mistakes happen. And he made one.”

Oakley brought assault and battery claims against Dolan and an amended lawsuit was filed just last month. An order Thursday assigned it to Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron to handle going forward.


Charles Oakley attends a Hawks game

Retired NBA star Charles Oakley attends the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on December 30, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)


“Just be honest,” Oakley said. “Just be transparent over what you put someone through and how you changed their life. This definitely changed my life. My daughter Googled me, they show them pulling me out of the Garden, that’s bad. That’s hell for a kid to see that.”

MSG has denied all claims.

“There’s no kind of agreement. There’s no kind of, `Let’s make this go away,'” Oakley said. “They’re not being transparent about what happened.”

Oakley “would love to go” to MSG to see a Knicks game – as long as Dolan made things right.

“I think it’s a bad time to ask me to come to a game,” Oakley said. “The case is still going. You ain’t trying to settle a case. The case is still pending. Take care of your business with the case and let the game worry about the game, you know what I’m saying? You’re not doing anything special. If you were trying to do something special, you wouldn’t have done this.”

Oakley did admit he is rooting for the Knicks – just from home.

Former NBA player Charles Oakley attends a game

Former NBA player Charles Oakley attends a game between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks at Barclays Center on March 12, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  The Nets defeated the Knicks 120-112. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

“I don’t want to get in their way, they’re playing great,” Oakley said. “I’m going to cheer at the guys to do well. I’m not mad at nobody on the floor.”

The Knicks currently lead their series against the Indiana Pacers, two games to one. They are aiming for their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since 2000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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