New York Knicks owner James Dolan conducted a radio interview on Friday to address many of the topics that were part of the fallout from a highly-publicized incident that resulted in the arrest of former team forward Charles Oakley on Wednesday night.
During his interview with “The Michael Kay Show” on YES, Dolan confirmed that Oakley has been banned from MSG, but the ban is only temporary.
“It’s not necessarily a lifetime ban. The most important thing is we need to keep the Garden a place that is comfortable and safe,” Dolan said on ESPN radio. “Anyone that comes to the Garden, too much alcohol, is looking for a fight and being abusive is going to get banned.
“Hopefully, it won’t be forever.”
Dolan laid out what Oakley must do in order to get back in good standing with the Knicks, which would lead to him being honored by the franchise and allowed back in Madison Square Garden.
“There’s nothing that would make me happier,” Dolan said of lifting the ban. All we need is for Charles to address these behaviors. He was a great Knick. He should be up there and being recognized, but this behavior … until he fixes that, it won’t happen.”
So there it is: Dolan confirmed that Oakley is temporarily banned from MSG because of his conduct, which included assaulting security guards. Oakley believes that he was set up by security.
In the interview, Dolan also addressed his status as a disliked owner and used the difficult New York market as his defense.
Dolan on fans hating him: "You'd be hard-pressed to find a living owner (of a New York sports team) that's loved."
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 10, 2017
Dolan said he stays out of basketball affairs and lets team president Phil Jackson do his thing. When asked about the poor performance of the team, Dolan deflected blame and told fans to direct their anger towards Jackson.
Dolan’s interview on Friday will do little to change the opinion of fans, who have sided with Oakley, who remains a beloved figure in New York. Oakley has also had the support of many famous people, as evidenced here.