Sport

Charles Oakley sues MSG, Dolan over removal from game, aftermath

Charles Oakley sues MSG, Dolan over removal from game, aftermath”

Former New York Knicks Charles Oakley filed a civil lawsuit against Madison Square Garden, MSG Networks and team owner James Dolan after being forcibly removed and arrested from a February 8 game. The filing also includes accusations of libel, slander, battery, assault, battery, and wrongful imprisonment.

Oakley's lawyers allege in the lawsuit that in the days after the incident, Dolan and MSG launched "a coordinated and defamatory public relations campaign against Mr. Oakley, baselessly accusing him of abusing fans and staff, acting inappropriately and struggling with alcoholism".

In the meantime, Dolan speculated without any evidence while speaking with ESPN New York Radio's Michael Kay that Oakley "may have a problem with alcohol".

"Since Defendant Dolan became chairman of the Knicks, they nearly 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 states. James Dolan went on to suggest Oakley was under the influence of alcohol and had issues with anger management, which only ratcheted up the animosity between the Knicks owner and the former Knick fan favorite even more.

Oakley, who filed the suit in NY, is charging the various parties for assault, defamation and false imprisonment.

Charles Oakley sues MSG, Dolan over removal from game, aftermath

During that February game at MSG, Oakley had taken his seat near the court when he was confronted by arena security.

Oakley and Dolan have had a publicly strained relationship for the better part of seven years now. Oakley says Dolan made him buy his own tickets to Knicks games while routinely treating other retired players to free courtside seats.

The former NBA enforcer and rebounding machine played for the Knicks from 1988 to 1998, helping the team reach the NBA Finals. They said, 'What, is it Dolan?' I talked to maybe a million people. It points out that "the Knicks, once one of the NBA's premier franchises in its largest market", while Oakley was on the team, has since "fallen into disarray, having advanced as far as the second round of the playoffs only twice in the previous ten years".

"However, as he did throughout his playing career, Mr. Oakley has refused to walk to the bench in shame", it adds, saying he was suing to set the record straight and hold the defendants responsible for "reprehensible conduct". Their last winning season was in 2012-2013.



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