The discord between the New York Knicks organization and Knicks legend Charles Oakley is no secret to anyone familiar with their situation. His blunt and sometimes sharp-tongued opinions have driven the organization to slowly distance itself from their former player.
Oakley recently sat down for an interview with Scott Cacciola of the New York Times, where he talked about his life after basketball and shared many NBA anecdotes and opinions.
In one of them, Oakley spoke about how he advised LeBron James to stay away from the Knicks franchise during his free agency, which once public, hardly endeared him to the organization.
He also called Knicks owner, James Dolan, “a bunch of bad names.” Here is the full excerpt, to paint the picture of pure ill-will.
“The boss don’t like me,” Oakley said last week. “I wouldn’t mind having a sit-down dinner with Dolan. I wouldn’t mind cooking him dinner.”
“Might put something in it, though!”
“I mean, I had at least 15 people try to set up a meeting. He won’t meet. I want to sit down to talk to him. I want me and him in a room. And lock the door. Lock that door!”
“I mean, he can have the police outside the door.”
The Knicks have usually kept a tight-knit relationship with their former players, for the exception of Oakley.
Barry Watkins, a Madison Square Garden spokesman, said: “The Knicks have fabulous relationships with almost all of our alumni. But when it comes to Charles’s relationship with the organization, he is his own worst enemy.”
Oakley was excluded from the Knicks 70th anniversary celebration, one that Ewing along other New York greats attended. The Virginia Union alum, remains hopeful that the relationship will one day be reconciled.
“One day,” he said, “they gonna need me for something.”