Less than two weeks after Charles Oakley was banned from Madison Square Garden, the former NBA player will watch the New York Knicks in person. Oakley might not be at MSG anytime soon, but he’ll be at Quicken Loans Arena Thursday night to see his old team visit the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Oakley has confirmed to multiple outlets that he will be at the game, though he hasn’t indicated where he’ll be sitting. The retired player is friends with LeBron James, who has publicly supported Oakley during his recent tiff with Knicks management.
On my to LAND!!!!!
— Charles Oakley (@CharlesOakley34) February 23, 2017
It usually isn’t front page news when an ex-NBA player goes to see his former team play, but Oakley’s appearance in Cleveland Thursday is certainly an exception. Oakley dominated headlines after he was escorted out of MSG on Feb. 8 and subsequently arrested. Two days later, Knicks owner James Dolan said Oakley was banned from the arena.
Dolan lifted the ban a few days later, but fences still need to be mended between the team and Oakley. Oakley turned down an invitation by Dolan to be his guest at a game, and he demanded a public apology. Oakley has denied claims that he was belligerent and cursing at Dolan on the night of his arrest.
“I want to have a press conference and I want him to apologize to me and the fans,” Oakley told ESPN Radio’s “Dan Le Batard Show” last week. “They’ve had my back and they’ve felt the pain. I really appreciate the people all around who’ve had my back.”
Oakley might not get his apology anytime soon, and it could be some time before he returns to MSG. NBA commissioner Adam Silver intervened in the matter, though a rift between Oakley and the Knicks remains.
Charles Oakley, pictured at the 2012 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award presentation at Espace on Dec. 5, 2012 in New York City, will watch the Knicks in person for the first time since being kicked out of Madison Square Garden. Photo: Getty Images
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