Knicks Ban Charles Oakley, Won’t Opt Out Of Phil Jackson’s Contract

In the wake of the incident at Madison Square Garden earlier this week, the Knicks have banned Charles Oakley from attending games at the arena, team owner James Dolan said today. Michael Kay first reported word of the ban (Twitter link), with Dolan confirming it in an appearance on Kay’s show this afternoon.

According to Dolan, it won’t necessarily be a “lifetime ban” for Oakley (Twitter link via Marc Berman of The New York Post). However, while the Knicks owner is concerned about fan backlash, he says his priority is maintaining a safe environment, adding that Oakley was abusive and vulgar and came to the Garden on Wednesday with an agenda (Twitter links via Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News).

Since Wednesday’s incident, the Knicks have issued multiple statements explaining why Oakley was ejected from the stadium and arrested. The team also shot down Oakley’s account, in which the former NBA big man insisted that he wasn’t the instigator in the situation. The Knicks continued the PR assault on Oakley today, publicly releasing more than a dozen first-hand statements from MSG staff on the incident (Twitter links via Ryan Field of WABC).

At Hoops Rumors, we typically focus on stories that relate to trades, free agency, and other forms of roster moves and player movement. So what does this story have to do with that? Well, as Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets, the Knicks are becoming a “toxic” destination for free agents based on this incident and Phil Jackson‘s behavior toward Carmelo Anthony. According to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post (Twitter link), the Knicks have “enraged” people around the league in the last 48 hours with their handling of the Oakley situation.

Dolan may have intended to explain his side of the story with today’s radio appearance, but he only made matters worse when he told Kay that Oakley has anger problems and that he “may have a problem with alcohol, we don’t know” (Twitter link via Bontemps). With Dolan making unfounded claims about a former Knicks star and Jackson repeatedly criticizing a current Knicks star, it’s hard to imagine many players around the NBA viewing the team as an appealing franchise to join.

The Knicks owner also said today that he won’t meddle in basketball decisions and that he doesn’t intend to exercise the club’s 2017 opt-out on Jackson’s contract (Twitter link via Bontemps). So barring a surprise, the duo doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

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40 thoughts on “Knicks Ban Charles Oakley, Won’t Opt Out Of Phil Jackson’s Contract

    • Oakley is right, Dolan has destroyed the Knicks for years, culminating in the Anthony trade for 3 starters plus Mosgov. That set the Knicks back a decade.

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    • Strauss

      Knicks have replaced the Browns as the most dysfunctional pro team.

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  1. baseball lover

    You cannot make this stuff up.
    Lol
    Team has issues, can’t wait to see how the fans react at next game

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  2. Garett

    I honestly don’t even care if Dolans account is more correct than Oakleys, he handles it with such a lack of class and accusing a guy of alcoholism with no proof just goes to show that. The only fans of Dolan are the Knicks rivals.

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    • ozzie soderstrom

      Oakley’s known as a non-drinker, so where’s Dolan getting his source from? Jackson? I guess now we’ll never see Oks number hanging from the rafters now!

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      • Well we created this world of alternative facts, with common core, pronouns, and hell… I can wake up tomorrow and identify as a unicorn…so..what do you expect lol

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  3. Dretorade

    wow what a garbage human Dolan is. “he may have a problem with alcoholism, we don’t know” then shut the hell up if you don’t know.

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  4. GoldenJabs

    It’s so fun to just sit back and watch a “New York” team throw up all over itself.

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      • It’s ok. The Bruins are just as dysfunctional as the Knicks are. And while I’m not a Knicks/Nets fan, the Celtics still can’t play defense and Isaiah Thomas’ 4th quarter heroics won’t continue to happen come playoff time…so have fun playing 2nd/3rd fiddle to the Cavs. And no, a star won’t be coming via trade because Ainge isn’t doesn’t have the guts to pull the trigger.

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        • Actually its cause other franchises wont bail ainge out with the draft picks… he overloaded and every GM knows it …he basically is gonna piss away opt’s for decent players… but they have some interesting 1 yr contracts and everyone loves stevens.. So if he can package amir/jerbeko/Rozier and some picks… he might get lucky…there is really only two teams who can do it… NY and Clips…everyone else is sayn tough luck Ainge.. you held on to long.. same reason Lakers are not gettn deals the last couple of yrs… even though everyone wanted baez and few others.. no team was just gonna help them out of there funk…

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  5. Dave4585

    This just further shows the Knicks need to tank hardcore because their players only chance of revival is building through the draft. No max player in their right mind is going to come to NY

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  6. The Knicks are trash and have been for years. That’s the real reason players don’t wanna go there. This whole incident is another embarrassment for an overrated franchise.

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  7. TDKnies

    I’d be surprised if Oak was completely innocent in all of this, but you can’t trust “first-hand statements” coming from employees of one of the two people feuding. Even if they’re telling the truth, it’s hardly compelling evidence to say, “These people who work for me agree with me!”

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  8. BSPORT

    I think the fans should boycott all games until Oak’s ban is lifted. Team isn’t worth paying for a ticket to watch anyway.

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  9. Armaday

    Dolan, Jackson and Anthony are all egotistical problems. Fans should stop going to games until there is a product worth watching. It’s no cheap night out going to the Garden to watch this garbage. It’s ashamed, because this franchise should contend every year, but instead we play lousy hoping for a high draft pick, or trade away draft picks for losers. Noah’s contract alone, should tell us all we need to know about poor management. Clean house, hire Clyde as the GM and Ewing as the head coach. Build the team around KP and Silver Spoon Dolan, stop getting involved and go play music with your horrible project you call a band.

    Knick Fans: STOP SHOWING UP!
    Let Dolan ban Oakley…New York Fans ban Games.

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    • “Fans should stop going to games until there is a product worth watching.” So I assume that MSG will be empty for Knicks games for the next couple of years.

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  10. BayAreaSportsFan

    Pretty obvious Oakley had an agenda, and the alcohol comment was well deserved, as he was behaving like a drunk teenager. Both sides are at fault, but anytime you show up with a premeditated plan, you should rightly take the majority of the blame.

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  11. Yankees1991

    James Dolan and Phil Jackson are completely out of line in separate cases….Not excusing Oak’s behavior, but James Dolan as the owner of the Knicks, needs to take a much more composed and professional approach in diffusing the situation. To publicly state on multiple platforms that Oak “needs help” and “may have a problem with alcohol” is completely unprofessional and not his place to say so…As far as Jackson is concerned, his reverse psychology nonsense may have won him 11 rings as a coach, but it’s not working as an executive. He needs to stop coaching from the seats and let the coaches coach. Ultimately he needs to go. The Knicks organization should be ashamed of itself at the moment.

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  12. MiggyCabby24

    Dolan’s behavior, is very reminiscent of Donald Sterling. But since Dolan owns the Knicks, who happen to be in the largest entertainment market in the world, Silver will have his hands tied on trying to issue a edict on how Dolan is running a once proud franchise in the ground.

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    • JDonovan

      Well Sterling was in the #2 entertainment market in the world and they had no problem telling him to leave. If Dolan had mentioned race instead of alcoholism, he would already be out.

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  13. SueJen

    Dolan should be ashamed. Why accuse someone of possibly having a drinking problem and then say u aren’t sure?

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  14. ozzie soderstrom

    I’m now an ex- Knick fan – ticket holder from way back. Too much BS going on……. Stay Melo and take every dollar owed to you, then leave…..

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  15. bowserhound

    This just in: Dolan claims Patrick Ewing is a crackhead and will sing the national anthem on Sunday.

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  16. Z-A

    Looked more like they were trying to poke the bear. They put their hands on him first from what I’ve seen. If you’re going to put your hands on Charles Oakley be prepared for him to put his on you. What are they no-authority-outside-of-MSG-rent-a-cops?

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  17. korleone74

    Oakley will sue….his lawyer has said as much…Dolan is a classless buffoon….this is what happens when you inherit old money…I notice Adam Silvervhas been quiet thru all this….hey Commish you want to weigh in….got any cojones to tell Dolan to shut up and fly right????

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