Charles Oakley goes to town on Knicks owner James Dolan in lawsuit
Former Knicks star Charles Oakley sued incompetent Knicks/Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan on Tuesday over the February 8 altercation that led to Oak being handcuffed and literally dragged out of MSG during a game against the Clippers. Oak was temporarily banned from the Garden and Dolan went on ESPN’s “The Michael Kay Show” to claim he was being belligerent and theorized the former player had a drinking problem.
The end result of all of this is a lawsuit in which Oakley accuses Dolan and Madison Square Garden of a host of charges including battery, false imprisonment, libel, defamation, and slander. The lawsuit itself is something of a work of art, as it goes over Oakley’s career in the most positive terms possible while absolutely shitting on Dolan’s tenure as Knicks owner.
“Since Defendant Dolan became chairman of the Knicks, they almost immediately relinquished their status as one of the NBA’s premiere teams, winning only a single lone playoff series since the turn of the century,” the suit reads. “Indeed, the Knicks have unfortunately become a laughingstock in the NBA, decried for their incompetence both on and off the court. The Knicks’ reputation sunk to unfathomable new lows in 2007 when Defendants Dolan and Madison Square Garden LP were found liable for retaliating against a former employee, Anucha Browne Sanders, who had complained of having been sexually harassed by the then-coach of the Knicks.”
In an extremely petty and frankly inspiring move, Oak even uses the filing to complain that he has to pay for Knicks tickets.
“However, the ongoing nature of the animosity is obvious and well-known, as illustrated by, among other things, the fact that Mr. Oakley – a true Knicks legend – has repeatedly been forced to purchase tickets to Knicks games out of his own pocket, whereas Defendant Dolan has routinely treated countless other retired Knicks players to courtside seats,” Oakley claims.
As for the incident itself, Oakley says he wasn’t intoxicated at all, went to his seats without so much as looking at Dolan, and then was asked to leave by security for reasons unknown to him.
Understandably confused, Mr. Oakley asked them why he was being forced to leave when he had done nothing more than sit among friends in publicly available seats. Rather than respond to Mr. Oakley’s reasonable question, one of the security guards proceeded to berate him publicly by demanding loudly, “Why are you sitting so close to Mr. Dolan?”
At that point, it became clear to Mr. Oakley that the security guards had been sent to carry out Defendant Dolan’s orders.
Embarrassed that Defendant Dolan was clearly attempting to publicly humiliate him in front of the same fans who spent a decade cheering for him, Mr. Oakley responded that he had done nothing wrong and had every right to attend the game.
Mr. Oakley then proceeded to turn around and return to his seat.
As he did so, two of the security guards grabbed him and pushed him to the ground.
When he got back to his feet, the security guards loudly reiterated their demand that Mr. Oakley leave the Garden immediately, despite the fact that he had done nothing wrong.
When Ms. Oakley continued to protest this outrageous behavior, the security guards started to physically grab at Mr. Oakley to forcibly compel him to leave.
Fearing for his safety surrounded by several large security guards, Mr. Oakley pushed their hands away in self-defense.
You can read the full lawsuit over at Deadspin.