Knicks fan John McEnroe says team is a ‘total train wreck’
Tennis legend and lifetime New York Knicks fan John McEnroe was witness to one of the ugliest nights of a 31-51 season, sitting only a few feet away from team icon Charles Oakley during the dreaded night that saw his relationship with the organization shredded to pieces in the eyes of those present.
McEnroe attends Knicks games every season, but was not aware of the underlying history between Oakley and Knicks’ boss James Dolan — someone that has run for the better part of a decade since his retirement from basketball.
“I didn’t even realize at the time that Charles had said bad things about him,” McEnroe told the Associated Press. “I hadn’t been up on that, so it wasn’t awkward for me when he sort of poked me in my back, Charles, right before the incident happened. I was like, `Hey Charles, how are you? This is my son, Kevin.’ He was with me.”
“So I didn’t put two and two together and I didn’t know what had happened or really what had transpired,” he said. “So maybe Jim was already uncomfortable because of past history or whatever and then when Charles and the security guys started to go at it, even before they started to come up to him I was like, `Uh oh, this is not going to go well, at all.’”
A native New Yorker, McEnroe was as shocked as anyone else in Oakley’s vicinity, seeing him confront a myriad of hapless security personnel that got some hurt dished out before they were able to restrain him and arrest him before the same fans that once chanted his name.
“To see Charles Oakley have handcuffs put on him was horrible,” said McEnroe. “Like, I was sick to my stomach, as well as almost every other fan that was in there watching this as it took place.”
“I bet you Jim Dolan – this is just my opinion – had to feel terrible about what that was.”
McEnroe, 58, has been in Madison Square Garden more times than most can count, being a part of games, bouts, and concerts — with his latest book decorated with plenty of ticket stubs to some of the most amazing live events that have taken place at the storied arena.
Yet that day, McEnroe witnessed a bout he didn’t purchase a ticket for, and one he wouldn’t have wanted to see — wondering just what had taken place in front of his eyes.
Despite his status, the American tennis star reflects the very same thoughts that have crossed the minds of every fan during the past few seasons, expressing the frustration and anger of what the franchise has become.
“I mean I’ve been a Knicks fan since I was a kid, so this is just getting beyond belief,” McEnroe said. “Watching this was like, I’m sitting there going, why the hell am I a Knick fan again? — because this is just absolutely unbelievable, watching Showtime.”
“It’s like a total train wreck.”