Charles Oakley’s interesting answer to Knicks’ offer to retire his jersey
James Dolan, the owner of the New York Knicks, is essentially the Emperor Palpatine of the Knicks organization. Dolan’s ongoing feud with Knicks’ former superstar Charles Oakley doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon. In an altercation back in 2017, Oakley was arrested and thrown out of the arena. Since then, he’s had bad blood with James Dolan.
Recently, it seems as though New York is wanting to retire Oakley’s jersey and hang it up in the rafters. However, due to the unfortunate relationship between him and Dolan, Oakley has no interest in having his jersey hanging in Madison Square Garden, per The Athletic.
According to Oakley, he has requested for his Jersey to be hung outside of the stadium. “he revealed his own idea for his No. 34 jersey. He loves New York, and he loves Knicks fans, and he’d rather have his jersey hanging outside the Garden, near the flagpole, where all of New York could see it. When it comes to the Garden, Oak just wants to fly free.”
“And I take that to heart,” he said. “I’d rather for it to be on the outside than the inside, because I wasn’t welcome inside …”
“They came to me and said they were going to retire my jersey, do this and do that. And I’m like, ‘Nah, you can’t buy me that easy. If you retire the jersey, that benefit you, that ain’t benefitting me.’”
Oakley deserves his jersey to be retired in New York, but the feud between him and James Dolan is preventing just that. Jeff Van Gundy offers his opinion on how the manner should be handled, by providing a potential solution.
“If I was Mr. Dolan, I would retire his number and I would have a ceremony with or without him,” Van Gundy said. “I think his play, his impact on winning and his unique relationship with the fans warrants that he has his number retired.”
It might be a while before we see Oakley’s jersey hanging in the rafters of Madison Square Garden, as James Dolan is known to hold his ground when things don’t go his way. But maybe some die-hard fans find a way to hang some Oaklay jerseys outside the Garden like he wanted.