Charles Oakley baffled by James Dolan’s remarks on infamous altercation at Madison Square Garden

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Back in 2017, former New York Knicks big man Charles Oakley was kicked out of a Knicks game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Security guards and police officers had to use force to remove Oakley from the arena, and cameras captured the incident.

Knicks owner James Dolan recently commented on the incident that occurred six years ago, and Oakley was baffled by the owner’s rare remarks on the infamous physical altercation at Madison Square Garden.

“The incident, which is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit, remains a source of anger among Knicks fans and has dogged Mr. Dolan for years,” Katherine Rosman wrote.


“But asked if there was any part of the incident he wishes he could change, he didn’t hesitate.


“‘Yes,’ he said. ‘I wish I could change Charles Oakley.’


“In a brief phone interview, Mr. Oakley reacted with incredulity.


“‘That’s embarrassing for him to say that,’ he said. ‘He is the one who should handle himself better.'”

Oakley was selected with the No. 9 overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft after playing Division II college basketball at Virginia Union University. During his time in college, Oakley averaged 20.3 points and 14.0 rebounds per game.

He played for five teams — the Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets — across his 19 seasons in the NBA.

However, Oakley is best known for his time as a member of the Knicks franchise. He spent 10 seasons of his pro career with the Knicks and averaged 10.4 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game in 727 total regular-season appearances with the team (722 starts).

Arguably Oakley’s best season as a Knick came during the 1993-94 season. The 6-foot-8 big man averaged 11.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game in 82 games played during the regular season (all starts).

Those numbers were good enough for Oakley to earn an All-Star nod as well as a spot on the All-Defensive First Team.

Oakley’s contributions on both ends of the floor translated into a whole lot of success for the 1993-94 iteration of the Knicks. They finished the regular season with an excellent 57-25 record — tied with the Atlanta Hawks for the best in the Eastern Conference — and made it all the way to the 1994 NBA Finals, where they lost to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets in seven games. Oakley averaged 11.0 points and 11.9 rebounds per game during the championship series.

Despite the infamous incident that occurred in 2017, Oakley should be remembered as a Knicks legend for what he accomplished with the team on the court.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.