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#pounditSaturday, June 22, 2024

Ex-Knicks star reveals why LeBron James will never play for team

LeBron James yells during a game

At least one or two times in his career, LeBron James was the top free agent target of the New York Knicks. But nothing ever happened, and now it looks like nothing ever will.

In an excerpt from his newly-released book “The Last Enforcer,” retired ex-New York Knicks star Charles Oakley told a story about James from All-Star Weekend 2014. Oakley said that he was hanging out with James and Rich Paul at All-Star festivities in New Orleans when associate William Wesley approached Oakley to introduce him to Knicks owner James Dolan. At the time, Oakley had never met Dolan but had been critical of the Knicks under Dolan’s ownership. When Wesley introduced Oakley to Dolan, Dolan flat-out refused to shake Oakley’s hand and would not even look up at Oakley.

From Oakley’s book:

You would have thought I did something to his wife. S—, Latrell Sprewell, who played five seasons with the Knicks, cursed at Dolan in front of Dolan’s wife when he returned to face the Knicks back in 2003, and they still became friends. I didn’t do anything to this man. What did I ever say that was so bad that he would ignore me like that? I wondered. Man, I wanted to hit him in the head.

I walked back to LeBron and said, “This motherf–ker wouldn’t shake my hand.” All LeBron said was: “This is why I’m never going to New York.”

Of course, Oakley and Dolan went on to have a very public feud in subsequent years. The bitterness between the two culminated in an ugly scene at Madison Square Garden in 2017 that even resulted in a lawsuit.

As for James, Dolan’s ownership of the Knicks is the reason that James will never play for them, according to Oakley. That makes sense too considering the disdain that James has shown for the Knicks, even in recent months.

Oakley’s word here is also credible as he is close with James. To that point, Oakley had something else interesting to say about James’ future recently.

H/T CBS Sports

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